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Everything you need to know about the new lockdown rule changes starting from tomorrow

Big changes to lockdown…

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There will be some big rule changes coming into effect, starting from this weekend, including shops and outdoor attractions reopening and social bubbles. 

While most lockdown measures are being eased a little further from Monday June 15th, after well over two months of tight restrictions, there are also a few changes happening tomorrow as well.

There could be some big impacts on your everyday life, including a new rule which makes it compulsory to wear a face mask on public transport. 

We’ve collated all the big changes to lockdown rules below.

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Meeting People
In England, from tomorrow, Saturday June 13th, if you live on your own (or live with one child), you can form a support bubble with one other household that contains any number of people.

You can also continue to meet outside in groups of six people from different households so long as social distancing is in place.

Wearing a Face Mask
Anyone using public transport must wear face coverings from Monday 15th June. The government is urging people to make their own face coverings, which can also be created from scarves and bandannas for instance. See here for more information on the face covering rule and how to make one.

Wash face coverings after use and wear them in any other situation where social distancing cannot be maintained.

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Exercise
The overarching advice is to stay at home as much as possible, however, non-contact sport is allowed outdoors.

You can now exercise outside with up to five others from different households, for instance playing football in a park, as long as you stay 2m apart and practise good hand hygiene.

Athletics, golf, horse riding and tennis are also now permitted.

Visiting Beauty Spots
Households can continue to drive any distance in England to parks and beaches. Those in England cannot travel to Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

Non-Essential Shops
All shops that are deemed non-essential have officially been given the go-ahead to open from Monday 15th June. This means retail shops, car showrooms and market halls for example.  See the full list of shops reopening in the Arndale here.

Going Back to Work
The rules state if you can work at home you should still continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

If your job requires you to enter other people’s homes, you are allowed to return to work. This includes, for instance, cleaners or plumbers. Strict hygiene rules should be followed, particularly if the person is vulnerable. No work should take place in any home where someone is shielding.

If you have to travel to your workspace you are encouraged to walk, cycle or drive to prevent overcrowding on public transport, which you will also have to wear a mask on.

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Schools Reopening
Some primary schools in England have reopened for children, and secondary schools and colleges in England can now provide face-to-face support to Year 10 and Year 12 pupils, as well as 16-19-year-olds who are set to take their exams next year.

The exact rules vary between local councils.

Place of Worship
Places of worship can open from June 15th for private prayer. Worship groups, weddings and other services are not yet permitted. Communal prayer is also not yet permitted.

Outdoor Attractions
Outdoor Attractions including zoos, safaris and outdoor drive-in cinemas have been given the green light to open from Monday 15th as long as they can successfully put social distancings measures in place.

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Meat Loaf has died aged 74

The singer’s agent confirmed the tragic news this morning

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Iconic singer and actor Meat Loaf has died at the age of seventy-four, his agent confirmed this morning.

A cause of death is yet to be announced.

The American musician – real name Marvin Lee Aday – reportedly died on January 20th with his wife Deborah by his side.

His family said in a statement: “Our hearts are broken to announce that the incomparable Meat Loaf passed away tonight surrounded by his wife Deborah, daughters Pearl and Amanda and close friends.

“His amazing career spanned 6 decades that saw him sell over 100 Million albums worldwide and star in over 65 movies, including Fight Club, Focus, Rocky Horror Picture Show and Wayne’s World.

The statement, which was posted today on his official Facebook page, also said: “Bat Out of Hell remains one of the top 10 selling albums of all time.

“We know how much he meant to so many of you and we truly appreciate all of the love and support as we move through this time of grief in losing such an inspiring artist and beautiful man.

“We thank you for your understanding of our need for privacy at this time.

“From his heart to your souls…don’t ever stop rocking!”

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Drivers and passengers face £1,000 fines for opening their door incorrectly under new Highway Code rule

Here’s everything you need to know…

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Drivers and passengers across the UK have been warned about a new Highway Code rule change that could land them with a hefty fine.

The new rule, which has been put in place to protect cyclists, will fine drivers and passengers as much as £1,000 if they open their car door incorrectly.

Instead of just opening the door, motorists will now need to adopt the ‘Dutch Reach’ technique, which involves you using the hand furthest from the door to open it – if you’re the one behind the wheel, you’d use your left hand, on the passenger side, you would use your right, just to clear it up a bit.

This technique has been proven to be safer because opening the door with the hand furthest away prompts a driver to turn their body towards the door, therefore giving them a look over their shoulder as they go to exit their vehicle.

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This way, they will clock any cyclists or pedestrians approaching or passing by their car that they may have otherwise missed if they hadn’t have checked.

The new section under rule 239 will read: “Where you are able to do so, you should open the door using your hand on the opposite side to the door you are opening; for example, use your left hand to open a door on your right-hand side.

“This will make you turn your head to look over your shoulder. You are then more likely to avoid causing injury to cyclists or motor cyclists passing you on the road, or to people on the pavement.”

If someone injures a cyclist or pedestrian by opening their door without checking, they could face a fine of up to £1,000, though no penalty points can be added to the offender’s licence.

This comes as the Highway Code undergoes a number of rule changes in favour of pedestrians and cyclists; a new section under rule 186 states that road users will now be forced to give priority to cyclists on roundabouts.

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The rule, expected to come into force from January 29th, states: “You should give priority to cyclists on the roundabout. They will be travelling more slowly than motorised traffic.

“Give them plenty of room and do not attempt to overtake them within their lane. Allow them to move across your path as they travel around the roundabout.”

The rule change will also require motorists to give way to cyclists and pedestrians at junctions, pedestrians waiting to cross the road into which or from they are turning, as well as pedestrians and cyclists on a parallel crossing.

The new rule has been introduced in an attempt to ensure that road users who can do the greatest harm have the greatest responsibility to reduce the danger or threat they may pose to others.

You can read the new rules in full here.

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People who test positive for Covid in England won’t have to self-isolate soon

‘The self-isolation regulations expire on March 24th, at which point I very much expect not to renew them’

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The legal requirement to self-isolate after testing positive for Covid will by dropped ‘by March’, Boris Johnson has announced this week.

The Prime Minister told MPs during yesterday’s PMQs that the rule will be allowed to be lapsed when all Covid regulations expire on March 24th, adding that this date could even be brought forward to a closer date if a vote is passed.

Johnson told MPs: “As we return to Plan A, the House will know that some measures still remain, including those on self-isolation.

“On Monday we reduced the isolation period to five full days with two negative tests, and there will soon come a time when we can remove the legal requirement to self-isolate altogether, just as we don’t place legal obligations on people to isolate if they have flu.

“As Covid becomes endemic, we will need to replace legal requirements with advice and guidance, urging people with the virus to be careful and considerate of others.

“The self-isolation regulations expire on March 24th, at which point I very much expect not to renew them.”

Under the current guidance, those who test positive for Covid have to quarantine for at least five full days, so long as they test negative on a lateral flow test on days five and six.

Annie Spratt / Unsplash

Also at yesterday’s PMQs, the Prime Minister announced that restrictions on visits to care homes will be eased further, with Health Secretary Sajid Javid to begin setting out plans ‘in the coming days’. 

It was also confirmed that from Thursday January 27th, mandatory Covid passes will no longer be needed and people will not be asked to work from home where possible.

Johnson added that face masks will not be mandatory anywhere from this date, prompting loud cheers and shouts from the Tory back benches.

And from today, face masks are no longer required to be worn by students in classrooms. 

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