Covid-19 Restrictions & Guidance

Last updated: Tuesday 5th January 2021

From Wednesday 6th January, national lockdown rules apply in England. You must stay at home. The single most important action we can take is to all stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.

Stay at home

Leaving home

You must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary. If you need to travel you should stay local - meaning avoiding travelling outside your village, town, or the part of the city where you live - and look to reduce the number of journeys you make overall. You may leave the home to:

  • shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
  • go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
  • exercise with your household (or support bubble, if you are legally permitted to form one - see below) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
  • meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
  • seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
  • attend education or childcare - for those eligible
  • to be with someone who is giving birth
  • visit someone who is dying or someone in a care home (if permitted under care home guidance), hospice, or hospital, or to accompany them to a medical appointment
  • for animal welfare reasons, such as to attend veterinary services for advice or treatment
  • communal worship and life events - including a funeral or event related to a death, a burial ground or a remembrance garden, or to attend a wedding ceremony. You should follow the guidance on the safe use of places of worship and must not mix with anyone outside your household or support bubble. Weddings, funerals, and religious/belief-based/commemorative events are all subject to limits on the numbers that can attend, and weddings and civil ceremonies may only take place in exceptional circumstances. 

You must not leave or be outside your home except for the reasons above. This will be put in law. The police can take action against you if you leave the home without a reasonable excuse, and issue you with a fine (Fixed Penalty Notice). You can be given a Fixed Penalty Notice of £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400. 

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. Early Years settings remain open.

Higher Education provision will remain online until mid February for all except future critical worker courses.

If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local in the village, town, or part of the city where you live. You may leave your local area for a legally permitted reason, such as for work.

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you should only go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential. You should not attend work

Meeting others

You cannot leave your home to meet socially with anyone you do not live with or are not in a support bubble with (if you are legally permitted to form one).

You may exercise on your own, with one other person, or with your household or support bubble.

You should not meet other people you do not live with, or have formed a support bubble with, unless for a permitted reason.

Stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household.

Staying away from home overnight

You cannot leave your home all the place where you are living for holidays or overnight stays unless you have a reasonable excuse for doing so. This means that holidays in the UK and abroad are not allowed. 

This includes staying in a second home or caravan if that is not your primary residence. This also includes staying with anyone you don't live with unless they're in your support bubble. If you are already on holiday you must return to your home as soon as practical. 

You are allowed to stay overnight away from your home if you:

  • are visiting your support bubble
  • are unable to return to your main residence
  • need accommodation while moving house
  • need accommodation to attend a funeral or related commemorative event
  • require accommodation for work purposes or to provide voluntary services
  • are a child requiring accommodation for school or care
  • are homeless, seeking asylum, a vulnerable person seeking refuge, or if escaping harm (including domestic abuse) 
  • are an elite athlete all their support staff or parent, if the athlete is under 18 and it is necessary to be outside the home for training or competition 

If you are already on holiday, you should return to your home as soon as practical.

Guest accommodation providers such as hotels, B&Bs and caravan parks may remain open for the specific reasons set out in law, including where guests are unable to return to their main residence, use that guest accommodation as their main residence, need accommodation while moving house, are self-isolating as required by law, or would otherwise be made homeless as a result of the accommodation closing. A full list of reasons can be found in the guidance on closing certain businesses and venues in England​.

Accommodation providers are also encouraged to work cooperatively with local authorities to provide accommodation to vulnerable groups, including the homeless.

Support bubbles

You have to meet certain eligibility rules to form a support or childcare bubble. This means not everyone will be able to form a bubble.

A ​support bubble​ is a support network which links two households. You can form a support bubble with another household of any size only if you meet the ​eligibility rules​.

It is against the law to form a support bubble if you do not follow these rules.

You are permitted to leave your home to visit your support bubble (and to stay overnight with them). However, if you form a support bubble, it is best if this is with a household who live locally. This will help prevent the virus spreading from an area where more people are infected.

If you live in a household with anyone aged under 14, you can form a childcare bubble​. This allows friends or family from one other household to provide informal childcare.

You must not meet socially with your childcare bubble, and must avoid seeing members of your childcare and support bubbles at the same time.

There is separate guidance for ​support bubbles​ and ​childcare bubbles.​

Further Information

This can be found in the government's National Lockdown: Stay at Home guidance. 

Financial Support

The government has extended the furlough scheme to March: further details here.
The self-employment grant scheme has also been extended: further details here
Details of payments available to those who have been requested to self-isolate by NHS Test & Trace can be found here.

Latest Advice from the Government

You can search for guidance and sources of support here.

Business Support

The government's Business Support Finder gives advice as to the various support packages available to businesses and self-employed people. 


Local Support

Coronavirus advice page here.

Coronavirus advice page here. Helpline: 01263 516000

A Facebook resource linking people with community initiatives and projects. Search for 'Norfolk & Waveney Here to Help'. 

Job search support, careers and training advice. Telephone 0800 917 9419. 

Many town and parish councils and community groups are providing support for the most vulnerable - please contact your local council for details.