What’s allowed under new coronavirus lockdown rules?

Boris Johnson’s latest statement to the nation on providing a roadmap to ease the coronavirus lockdown restrictions has been met with a mixture of relief and confusion.

Relief that there’s a plan in place to restart the economy and get back to some degree of normality, but confusion in that the new guidance does throw up more questions about what is and isn’t permissible.

Unfortunately, Mr Johnson can’t give an individualised plan to every resident, so individuals are re going to have to exercise some common sense.

Simplifying what  Mr Johnson said, there is a three stage plan as follows:

STEP 1 (Not before Wednesday May 13, 2020)

  • Outdoor exercise is now unlimited as long as you socially distance.
  • You are now allowed to visit parks, walk, sunbathe and even BBQ as long as you socially distance.
  • You can now drive to other destinations in England – up to 20 miles – (not Scotland or Wales) to exercise as long as you socially distance.
  • You can now play sports, but only with people from your own household to reduce the chance of infection from others.
  • Fines to be increased for people who ignore social distancing rules and take part in social gatherings.
  • You can now start going back to work, only if you can’t work from home and social distancing can still be met – manufacturing and construction work were mentioned.
  • You should try to avoid public transportation where possible, ideally walking or cycling to work if practical, if not then drive.

The above new measures will be monitored BEFORE moving to Step 2, if there is no major increase in infections. A consequent increase in infections will result in the reinstatement of lockdown conditions.

STEP 2 (June 2020 at the earliest)

  • The phased reopening of retail and some shops.
  • Look at getting primary schools back. Reception, Year 1 and Year 6.
  • Secondary school pupils will get some time with teachers before the holiday regarding exams.

Steps 1 and 2 will be closely monitored before moving to Step 3 which will only happen if there is no major increase in infections. A major increase will result in a return to lockdown status.

STEP 3 (No earlier than July 2020)

Start to look at reopening hospitality and other public places that attract larger gatherings such as restaurants, cinemas and leisure etc.

The above is to be staged over the next two months.

Social distancing rules stay in place and must still be followed.

  • Visiting other households is still not permitted.
  • Social gatherings are still not allowed.
  • You do not have to return to work if your place of work is not yet allowed to open or your employer chooses to remain closed.
  • Restricted movement is NOT over, it has just been slightly relaxed to see if doing so has an effect on the reinfection rate (R value)

Boris made it clear if the steps are not met then social distancing and restricted movement will carry on until the steps are met!

Boris Johnson also changed the messaging in relation to the lockdown:


Remain aware and diligent that the virus is still a threat to your health and the health of others.


Continue to control the spread of the virus by adhering to social distancing guidelines, avoid or restrict contact with outside of your household.


Do your part to help stop the spread of the virus to yourself and others.

Last updated May 11, 2020.