Here are nine things England’s lockdown with pubs, restaurants and non-essential shops closed is different from the March lockdown.

  1. You can meet one friend… with your children; catching up with a friend outdoors in a public place like a park or beach is possible so far as social distancing is observed and neither one of you is self-isolating. The two-person limit excludes children of pre-school age.
  2. Schools and universities are staying open; schools, colleges and universities, as well as nurseries and other childcare, will remain open laying more emphasis on the fact that the government is prioritizing education. Scientists warned that pubs and other activities might have to close for schools to remain open in the second wave.
  3. Boris Johnson stated, “We cannot let this virus damage our children’s futures even more than it has already.”
  4. Public toilets will not be closed; with the aftermath of the last lockdown where people with young children and long-term health conditions were particularly affected, and also with pubs and restaurants closed, many complained they were forced to relieve themselves in public places.
  5. This informed the government decision to have public toilets remain open.
  6. ‘Bubble’ exists; the bubble concept supports an adult living alone or a single parent family mixing freely with one other nominated household of any size. This also supports households with children under 13, as a childcare bubble with another household to help with informal (unpaid and unregistered) childcare. This must always be between the same two households. Bubbles will continue during the lockdown.
  7. Click and collect services will be available; the provision made for non-essential shops is click and collect services. This is where customers can order products online and go to pick them up as they will be allowed. Click and collect involves minimal contact, and could help shops to keep more workers employed.
  8. Sitting on a bench is allowed; since the government is not placing any time limit on recreational activities such as meeting a friend in the park for a walk or sitting on a bench and eating a sandwich is perfectly fine.
  9. You can take unlimited exercise; since the government is mindful of obesity, mental health and other problems caused by lockdown inactivity, and the risks of coronavirus transmission are generally higher indoors. “You can and should still travel to …spend time or exercise outdoors. This should be done locally wherever possible, but you can travel to do so if necessary.” But bare in mind that only essential travel was permitted in the spring.
  10. Dentists and opticians’ will stay open; dentists, opticians, chiropractors and osteopaths can open as usual this time. Thanks to Mr Johnson stress on it “really being important to get your scans, turn up for your appointments and pick up your treatments”, during this lockdown and all winter. Boots Opticians and Specsavers say they will operate as normal as the British Dental Association has also confirmed dental services will be available.
  11. Nobody will formally shield; to strike a balance between practical measures to keep people safe, while reducing the harm caused to their wellbeing and mental health. Mr Johnson indicated, “I know how tough shielding was, and we will not ask people to shield again in the same way.” However, the “clinically extremely vulnerable,” including organ transplant patients and people with certain cancers, have been told to take extra care to minimize contact with others, including working from home.