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National lockdown - what you need to know

On January 4, the Prime Minister announced a new national lockdown in order to reduce transmission of the virus and control the new COVID variant. Full guidance on what you can and cannot do during the national lockdown is available on the government website. 

Download the easy-to-read National lockdown: Stay at Home Poster Find coronavirus grant information for your Local Authority

Summary of key measures

Business and venue closures and restrictions

Businesses to remain closed: 

• Nightclubs, dance halls, and discotheques 

• Non-essential retail (these can continue to operate click-and-collect where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises and delivery services)

 Hospitality (e.g. bars, pubs, shisha venues, restaurants, cafes). These can continue to provide takeaway (until 11 pm), click and collect, delivery and drive-through. Alcohol can only be
provided through delivery. 

• Hotels and other accommodation providers (except for 
specific circumstances, including people staying for work purposes or where they cannot return home) 

• Entertainment and tourist venues (e.g. theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, go-karting venues, indoor play and soft play centres and areas, circuses, fairgrounds, funfairs, zoos and other animal attractions, water parks and theme parks)

• Leisure and sports facilities (e.g. leisure centres and gyms, swimming pools, sports courts, fitness and dance studios, riding arenas at riding centres, golf courses and climbing walls)

• Personal care (e.g. hair and beauty salons, tattoo parlours, nail salons, spas and beauty services, massage parlours and
tanning salons). These services should not be provided in other people's homes. 

• Indoor attractions venues such as botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks (outdoor grounds of these premises can remain open for outdoor exercise)

• Community centres and halls (apart from a limited number of exempt activities)

Driving Tests

• Theory and driving tests are suspended

General Aviation 

Leisure flying is not permitted

The full list of businesses required to remain closed is available on the government website. 

Businesses, services and venues remaining open

• Essential retail (e.g. food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres, building merchants and suppliers of building products and off-licences)

• Services provided by cleaners, nannies and tradespeople who are required to work in other people's homes (However,
personal care and close contact services should not be
provided in other people's homes).

• Public services (NHS and medical services, Jobcentre Plus sites, waste or recycling centre, courts and probation services etc.)

• Market stalls selling essential retail 

• Businesses providing repair services 

• Petrol stations, automatic (but not manual) car washes, vehicle repair and MOT services, bicycle shops, and taxi and vehicle
hire businesses

• Banks, building societies, post offices

• Laundrettes and dry cleaners

•  Estate and letting agents and removals firms

• Medical and dental services

• Vets and retailers of products and food for the upkeep and welfare of animals

• Car parks, public toilets and motorway service areas

• Outdoor playgrounds

 Places of worship (cannot interact with anyone outside household or bubble)

The full list of businesses allowed to remain open is available on the government website.

Activities allowed to continue

Sport and physical activity

• Organised outdoor sport for disabled people is allowed to continue.

Elite sport may continue

Moving home

• You can still move home. However,  people outside your household or support bubble should not help with moving house unless absolutely necessary.

Follow the national guidance on moving home safely

Weddings, civil partnerships, and funerals

 Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies must only take place with up to 6 people (these should only take place in exceptional circumstances)

 Funerals and linked commemorative events (e.g. wakes, stone settings) can take place with restrictions on numbers of attendees (up to 30 and 6 attendees respectively)

Social contact restrictions

You must stay at home unless you have a ‘reasonable excuse’. This is the law and failure to comply could lead to fines. 

•  You must not meet socially with friends or family except
where they are part of your household or support bubble

• If eligible, you can still form a support bubble 

• Informal childcare can still be provided via 
childcare bubbles

• You can exercise in a public outdoor space (e.g. park, public garden, playground, countryside accessible to the public) once per day in your local area on your own, with your household,
with your support bubble, in a childcare bubble (where providing childcare) or when by yourself, with 1 person from another household. 

• Children under 5, and up to 2 carers for a person with a disability who needs continuous care, are not counted towards the gatherings limit on two or more people exercising outdoors.

• If you (or an individual in your care) have a health condition
that has routinely required you to leave the house to maintain your health (including if that involves travel beyond your local area) or exercise multiple times a day - then you can continue to do so.

View Exemptions where you can meet in larger groups. 


Visiting relatives/friends in care homes

You can:

  • Visit friends or family in care homes with COVID-secure arrangements (i.e. substantial screens, visiting pods, and window visits). 

  • Close-contact indoor visits supported by testing are not allowed 

Guidance for clinically 
extremely vulnerable 

  • Shielding is in place: You should not attend work, school, college or university

  • You should only go out for medical appointments, exercise
    or if it is essential

  • You should limit the time you spend outside the home. 

  • Further guidance is available on the government website










Attending work/education and travel  

Going to work

• You should work from home unless you cannot reasonably do so. This includes, but is not limited to, people who work in critical national infrastructure, construction, manufacturing, public sector employees working in essential services, including childcare or education, and nannies, cleaners or tradespeople required to work in other people's homes.


• Early Years settings remain open.

• Colleges, primary and secondary schools will remain open only for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. All other children will learn remotely until February half term. 

• Higher Education provision will remain online until mid-February. This will not apply to students undertaking training and study for future critical worker courses. These students should return to face to face learning as planned.

•  Wraparound childcare and out-of-school settings should only offer face-to-face provision for:


• You must not leave or be outside of your home unless you have a ‘reasonable excuse’

• If you need to travel:

- You should stay local (i.e. avoid travelling outside of your village, town or the part of a city where you live) 

- You should walk or cycle where possible or plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport.

• You can only travel internationally - or within the UK - if you have a legally permitted reason to leave home

View the government’s full guidance on travel 

Face coverings

• You must wear face coverings in all mandated settings.



More information is available on the UK Government’s Coronavirus Business Support website. For more personalised advice call us on: 0161 237 4128 or email us at:


The information provided is meant as a general guide only rather than advice or assurance. GC Business Growth Hub does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information, and professional guidance should be sought on all aspects of business planning and responses to the Coronavirus. Use of this guide and toolkit is entirely at the risk of the user. Any hyperlinks from this document are to external resources not connected to the GC Business Growth Hub, and The Growth Company is not responsible for the content within any hyperlinked site.