Coronavirus - government update May 11

A "conditional plan" to begin easing England's coronavirus lockdown was announced yesterday by the Government.
woman in mask

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced some small changes but, in the main,  lockdown will continue and everyone must continue social distancing - staying 2m (6ft) apart from others outside their households.

New rules from Wednesday 13 May


From Wednesday you can exercise outdoors as much as you want as long as you keep 2m apart from others. Previously, exercise was limited to one hour a day.

You can also sit and rest outside – exercise or recreation can be alone, with members of your household, or with one other person from outside your household, while keeping 2m apart at all times.

From Wednesday you may also drive to outdoor, publicly-accessible open spaces and again follow social distancing guidance while there. 

Going to work

People should continue to work from home if they can.

If you can't work at home, you are being  "actively encouraged" to return to work.  But returning workers should try and avoid public transport and walk or cycle if possible or commute by car.

New guidelines are being put together to help employers make workplaces safe for returning staff.

Higher fines for ignoring the rules

The government is also bringing in higher fines for anybody who breaches the lockdown and social distancing rules. 

The main advice 

  • Stay at home as much as possible
  • Work from home if you can
  • Limit contact with other people
  • Keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • Wash your hands regularly

Self-isolate if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.

Shielding? Continue to stay at home

The new advice does not change the "stay at home" measures for people who are most medically at risk and who are shielding. 

Tracking the virus

A new Covid Alert System measuring the infection rate and number of cases, will monitor the spread of the virus and detect local flare ups in areas of the country.

The system has five levels ranging from 1 where the virus is no longer present, to five which is the most critical.

High alert levels will see tougher and stricter measures introduced. A low level will mean measures can be relaxed.

The country is currently at level 4 but this is starting to move to level 3.

No visits to friends and family

It is still not permitted to leave your house to visit friends and family in their home. The government is looking at how to allow greater contact with close family or friends, and will explain how this can be done safely in the coming weeks. 

More information

Further details are being announced by the Government over the next few days.

How services are changing because of Covid 19

Read our advice and guidance on coronavirus and find out how services are changing to meet people's needs. 

Find out more