Girl walking along a bridge by a canal in Castle Combe, Wiltshire

National Lockdown: Stay at home

Page updated on 23 February 2021

The single most important action we can all take is to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.

This means you must not leave your home unless you are:

  • Shopping for the basics such as food or medicine, for yourself or a vulnerable person

  • Going to work or to volunteer, if you cannot do so from home

  • Exercising with your household, support bubble or, when on your own, with one other person. This should be limited to once a day and you should not travel outside of your local area.

  • Meeting your support or childcare bubble, but only if you are legally permitted to form one

  • Seeking medical assistance or to avoid injury, illness or risk of harm

  • Attending education or childcare


Update: From 8 March, guidance will be changing as a result of the government's new roadmap, setting out the roadmap out of the current lockdown for England. This explains how the restrictions included in this guidance will be lifted over time.

Some of the rules on what you can and cannot do will be changing:

  • you will be allowed to spend time in outdoor public spaces for recreation on your own, with one other person, or with your household or support bubble. This means you can sit down for a drink or picnic. You must continue to maintain social distance from those outside your household. This is in addition to outdoor exercise, which is already permitted

  • pupils and students in all schools and Further Education settings will be able to return to face-to-face education

  • wraparound childcare can reopen and other children’s activities can restart for all children where it is needed to enable parents to work, attend education, seek medical care or attend a support group. Vulnerable children can attend childcare and other children’s activities in all circumstances

  • students on practical Higher Education courses at English universities who have not already returned and would be unable to complete their courses if they did not return to take part in practical teaching, access specialist facilities or complete assessments will be able to return

  • there will continue to be restrictions on domestic and international travel. Holidays will not be a permitted reason to travel

  • those seeking to leave the UK must complete an outbound declaration of travel form ahead of departure

  • the rules on visiting care homes will change to allow regular indoor visits for a single named visitor

No further significant changes will be made on 8 March and restrictions requiring you to stay at home will remain in place. Later changes, including from 29 March, are set out in the roadmap.

The Clinically Extremely Vulnerable are advised not to attend work, school or education until 31 March.

For further guidance on the national lockdown in England, please visit the GOV.UK website

Find businesses that have successfully adapted their operations in line with government and public health guidance on the We're Good To Go map.