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Everything you can and can’t do under the new national lockdown rules in England

Everything you need to know about the new rules



Number 10/Flickr

England is now back in a third national lockdown, and we’re set to be here until at least the middle of February.

Here’s everything you need to know:

Stay at home

As was the case in March in the first lockdown, residents of England must now stay at home. You can only leave for work if it is absolutely not possible to do your job from home, such as construction, manufacturing or critical care workers.

You can leave your house to shop for necessities once a day, and there’s also a limit on outdoor exercise to just once daily. 

You can meet with one person not in your household or with your support bubble outside, but social distancing should be maintained.

You cannot stay at another home other than your own, meaning holidays in the UK and abroad are no longer allowed, including at a second home or caravan.

Schools and Education

From today, Tuesday January 5th, all schools will be closed with learning carried out remotely, with the exception of children of key workers or those that are vulnerable.

You can leave your home to visit someone in your support bubble or to provide informal childcare to children under 14 as part of a childcare bubble. 

BTEC exams scheduled to take place over the next few days will go ahead as planned. Summer GCSEs and A-Levels are under review between the government, the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) and the Department for Education.

However, it is expected they will not take place this academic year, with Boris branding that ‘not possible or fair’.

Number 10/Flickr


All non-essential shops including retail, hospitality and personal care businesses must close. Restaurants can offer takeaway and delivery but are not permitted to serve alcohol.

A list of essential shops such as supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres, banks and launderettes can remain open. 

Essential shops include:

  • Supermarkets
  • Pharmacies
  • Banks
  • Off-licences
  • Builders’ merchants
  • Garden centres
  • Launderettes
  • Car repair shops
  • Car washes
  • Bike shops
  • Market stalls selling essentials

Non-essential shops include:

  • Hairdressers
  • Personal care salons, like tanning shops and tattoo parlours
  • Entertainment venues like cinemas, skating rinks and bowling alleys
  • Restaurants and other hospitality venues (except for delivery or takeaway)

Sports, leisure and worship

All other venues must close including outdoor gyms, zoos, golf and tennis clubs. Elite sports can continue, as can PE lessons and clubs for children. Playgrounds can also remain open. 

Places of worship can remain open for socially distanced services.

Weddings and Funerals

Events such as weddings, civil partnerships and funerals can take place with strict limits on attendance.

A maximum of 30 people can attend a funeral, and a maximum of six people can attend commemorative events such as ash scattering. People included in the service are not counted in the limits.

Weddings and civil partnerships can take place with six people in attendance and, according to government guidelines, only in exceptional circumstances such as if one partner is seriously ill. 

Visiting care homes

Visits to see relatives in care homes can only take place with ‘substantial screens, visiting pods, or behind windows’. Close-contact indoor visits cannot take place and visits cannot take place if there is a Covid outbreak in the home. 

International travel

Only essential journeys are permitted. Holidays abroad or in the UK or not allowed to take place. 

Moving house

People are permitted to move house but people outside of your household or support bubble should not help with moving unless absolutely necessary. Estate agents, letting agents and removal firms can continue to work and viewings are also still permitted. 

You can see the rules in full here


Student suffers severe heart failure after drinking four cans of energy drink a day

‘I believe they are very addictive and far too accessible to young children’



AlienFood/Wikimedia & Austin Kirk/Flickr

A young man who consumed two litres of energy drink a day was admitted to intensive care with severe heart failure.

According to a leading medical journal, the university student landed himself in hospital after drinking four cans of energy drink per day.

The 21-year-old spent nearly two months in intensive care due to heart failure, with the British Medical Journal stating this was ‘potentially related to excessive energy drink consumption’ in a report.

According to the report, the man drank four 500ml energy drinks every day for two years, becoming so ill that medics thought he might require an organ transplant.

The patient went on to describe his medical episode as ‘traumatising’, eventually seeking medical help after he suffered from weight loss and shortness of breath for roughly four months.

Daniel Juřena / Flickr

Doctors performed blood tests, scans, and ECG readings, and found that he had both kidney and heart failure – however, the kidney failure was discovered to be linked to a previously undiagnosed condition.

Each energy drink the man was consuming contained around 160mg of caffeine, and medics said that ‘energy drink-induced cardiotoxicity’ was the most likely cause of the severe heart failure.

In the report, the authors from Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust wrote: “We report a case of severe biventricular heart failure potentially related to excessive energy drink consumption in a 21-year-old man.”

They said the conclusion to their report ‘adds to the growing concern in the literature about the potential cardiotoxic effects of energy drinks’, adding that the man’s heart function seems to have returned to normal nine months later but with ‘mildly impaired function’.

AlienFood / Wikimedia

The recovered patient added his own thoughts to the article, saying: “When I was drinking up to four energy drinks per day, I suffered from tremors and heart palpitations, which interfered with my ability to concentrate on daily tasks and my studies at university.

“I also suffered from severe migraine headaches which would often occur during the periods when I did not drink energy drink; this also restricted my ability to perform day-to-day tasks and even leisurely activities such as going to the park or taking a walk.”

He added: “I think there should be more awareness about energy drinks and the effect of their contents.

“I believe they are very addictive and far too accessible to young children. I think warning labels, similar to smoking, should be made to illustrate the potential dangers of the ingredients in energy drink.”

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Drivers could soon be fined for parking on the pavement under new rules

Make sure you’re aware of the proposed rule changes



Jaggery / Geograph

A ban on parking on the pavement could soon be implemented across England, under new laws which are expected to be rolled out this year.

Parking on pavements would be a thing of the past, with £70 penalty fines for offenders coming into effect under the proposed new rules.

According to reports, the new legislation would see a ban on antisocial parking introduced, in a bid to make pavements safer for people with disabilities and visual impairments, as well as families.

The changes to the law which are being considered have already been implemented in London and would be rolled out nationwide.

They come in response to complaints about pavement parking and the risks it brings with it to those whose use pavements, with the Department for Transport (DfT) initially launching a proposal on the subject in September 2020.

The proposals came after a review discovered that almost half of wheelchair users and a third of visually impaired people were less willing to go out on the streets alone due to ‘antisocial’ parking on the pavement.

A spokeswoman from the DfT explained to The Mirror that the government is currently collating responses after receiving ‘overwhelming’ feedback.

The public consultation period for the proposals ended back on November 22nd, and as such a decision on the plan is expected imminently.

Jaggery / Geograph

However, Mark Tongue, director of Select Car Leasing has said that ‘the guidelines are currently quite confusing for motorists’.

The motoring company conducted a report which discovered that local authorities would have the power to dish out £70 fines if a vehicle was considered an obstruction, even if it was parked outside the driver’s house.

Mr Tongue said: “A pavement parking ban is 100% needed nationwide – anything that puts pedestrians at an increased risk requires action.

“However, the information given so far is slightly confusing for drivers. At the moment, there’s no clear guidelines for those who park on the pavement due to having no room on their own drive. Most households have more than one car, so it will be interesting to see where motorists are expected to park if not on the pavement outside their homes.

“Clear guidance is required for drivers so they know the correct location to park in order to avoid a fine.”

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Operation Forth Bridge: the full plan for what happens next after Prince Philip’s death

Buckingham Palace confirmed the sad news of his passing earlier today



Michael Garnett / Flickr

Buckingham Palace announced this afternoon that HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh has died.

The 99-year-old, who would have celebrated his 100th birthday in June, passed away peacefully at Windsor Castle this morning, Friday April 9th.

Buckingham Palace said: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

“His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.

“Further announcements will be made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”

There were already strict procedures put in place for when Prince Philip died, which have now begun, and they’re known as Operation Forth Bridge.

According to the plan there are several steps that need to be followed, including everything from national mourning to a burial site for the Duke.

Operation Forth Bridge has been around for many years, with Buckingham Palace, in consultation with both the Queen and Prince Philip, regularly updating and reviewing it.

Part one of the operation was the announcement from Buckingham Palace confirming the death of the Duke, which was distributed to the Press Association and BBC first.

Then the country enters a period of national mourning, meaning a set of rules, like flags being flown at half-mast, must be followed.

According to reports, it’s thought newsreaders and other TV presenters must wear black out of respect.

Jamie McCaffrey / Flickr

Next, plans for the funeral will be drawn up, and while Prince Philip is entitled to a state funeral he reportedly wanted something more discreet – a private service in the style of a military funeral at St George’s Chapel in Windsor, followed by burial at Frogmore Gardens.

The funeral is still expected to be televised despite the current restrictions, although it remains unclear how many people will be able to attend it.

The Queen’s private secretary and senior adviser, Sir Edward Young, will be on hand to help her during the undoubtedly challenging days ahead.

As well as being responsible for supporting the Queen in her duties, Sir Edward is also the channel of communication between the Queen and the government.

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