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Local restrictions and government guidance

From March 29, the ‘stay at home’ rule is now lifted. However, many restrictions will remain in place. You should continue to work from home if you can and limit the number of people you come into contact with.

Let's take this next step safely.

Hands. Face.  Space

Remember - ‘Hands. Face. Space.’

  • Hands – wash your hands regularly and for at least 20 seconds
  • Face – wear a face covering in indoor settings where socialdistancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contactwith people you do not normally meet
  • Space – stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live withwhere possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (suchas wearing face coverings)
  • Roadmap out of lockdown

    From 8 March, people in England will see restrictions start to lift and the government's four-step roadmap offer a route back to a more normal life.

    The safe exit from lockdown will take place in four steps; and at each step, restrictions will be lifted across the whole of England at the same time.

    The government will be guided by data, not dates, so that we don't risk a surge in infections, hospitalisations and deaths. For that reason, all the dates in the roadmap are indicative and subject to change.

    There will be a minimum of five weeks between each step: four weeks for the scientific data to reflect changes and for these to be analysed; followed by one week's advance notice of further easements.

    The government will also continue to support families and businesses throughout the steps set out in the roadmap, details of which will be set out by the chancellor in the budget on 3 March.

    Four tests

    Only when the government is sure that it is safe to move from one step to the next will the final decision be made. Decisions will be based on four tests.

    • Test 1: The vaccine deployment continues successfully
    • Test 2: Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
    • Test 3: Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsuitable pressure on the NHS
    • Test 4: The government's assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new variants of concern

    Step 1 - From 8/29 March

    Priority will be to ensure that all children and students return safely to face to face education in all schools and colleges from 8 March. Childcare and children's supervised activities can also resume.

    8 March

    • Schools and colleges will be open for all students. Practical higher education courses
    • Recreation or exercise outdoors with household or one other person. No household mixing indoors
    • Wraparound childcare
    • Funerals (30), wakes and weddings (6)
    • Stay at home

    29 March

    • Rule of 6 or two households outdoors. No household mixing indoors
    • Outdoor sport and leisure facilities
    • Organised outdoor sport allowed (adults and children)
    • Minimise travel - No holidays
    • Outdoor parent and child groups (up to 15 parents)

    Step 2 - After 12 April

    Step 2 will see the opening of non-essential retail; personal care premises such as hairdressers and nail salons; and public buildings, including libraries and community centres.

    • Indoor leisure (including gyms) open for use individually or within household groups
    • Rule of 6 or two households outdoors. No household mixing indooors
    • Outdoor attractions such as zoos, theme parks and drive-in cinemas
    • Library and community centres
    • Personal care premises
    • All retail
    • Outdoor hospitality
    • All children's activities, indoor parent and child groups (upto 15 parents)
    • Domestic overnight stays (households only)
    • Self contained accommodation (households only)
    • Funerals (30) wakes, weddings, receptions (15)
    • Minimise travel - No international holidays
    • Event pilots begin

    Step 3 - After 17 May

    As part of Step 3, the government will look to continue easing limits on seeing friends and family wherever possible, allowing people to decide on the appropriate level of risk for their circumstances.

    • Indoor entertainment and attractions
    • 30 person limit outdoors. Rule of 6 or two households indoors (subject to review)
    • Domestic overnight stays
    • Organised indoor adult sport
    • Most significant life events (30)
    • Remaining outdoor entertainment (including performances)
    • Remaing accommodation (hotels, B&Bs, guest houses)
    • Some large events (except for pilots) - Capacity limits apply
      • Indoor events 1,000 or 50%
      • Outdoor seated events 10,000 or 25%
    • International travel (subject to review)

    Step 4 - After 21 June

    Before Step 4 begins the government will complete a review of social distancing and other measures that have been put in place to cut transmission, in order to inform decisions on the timing and circumstances under which rules on 1 metre plus, the wearing of face coverings, etc, may be lifted.

    This will also inform guidance on working from home – which should continue wherever possible until this review is complete.

    • No legal limits on social contact
    • Nightclubs
    • Larger events
    • No legal limit on all life events

    Full details of the COVID response proposals

  • Businesses and venues

    Businesses and venues which must close

    To reduce social contact, some businesses must remain closed or follow restrictions on how they provide goods and services. You can read the full list of businesses required to remain closed in England.

    There is further guidance on reopening businesses and venues which explains which business will be permitted to open at each step of the roadmap.

    From 12 April, further venues will be permitted to open. Unless a specific exemption exists, you must only visit these as a single household or bubble indoors, or in a group of 6 people or 2 households outdoors.

    Outdoor areas at hospitality venues (cafes, restaurants, bars, pubs, social clubs, including in members' clubs) can reopen. Hospitality venues can also provide takeaway alcohol. These venues may allow customers to use an inside bathroom and customers can order and pay indoors. At any premises serving alcohol, customers will be required to order, be served and eat/drink while seated (“table service”). Venues will be prohibited from providing smoking equipment such as shisha pipes, for use on the premises.

    Outdoor attractions at venues such as animal attractions, theme parks, and skating rinks will also be permitted to reopen. A full list can be found here. This does not include outdoor cinemas and theatres, which will be limited to drive-in performances only. When going to these events, you must not share your vehicle with anyone outside your household or support bubble, unless there is an exemption, such as for providing care to a vulnerable person or for work purposes.

    Businesses which are allowed to re-open that operate in otherwise closed attractions (such as a gift shop or a takeaway kiosk at an indoor museum) may only open where they are a self-contained unit and can be accessed directly from the street.

    Personal care services (including those provided from a mobile setting), indoor sports facilities, self-contained accommodation, and public buildings (such as community centres) may also reopen.

    Businesses eligible to host childcare and supervised activities for children will now be able to host these activities (including sport) for all children, regardless of circumstances.

  • Travelling

    From 29 March you should minimise travel and, when you do travel, do so safely.

    You should continue to work from home where they can and minimise the number of journeys they make where possible, avoiding travel at the busiest times and routes. Travel abroad will continue to be prohibited, other than for a small number of permitted reasons. Holidays abroad will not be allowed, given it will remain important to manage the risk of imported variants and protect the vaccination programme

    If you need to travel, walk or cycle where possible, and plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport. This will allow you to practice social distancing while you travel.

    Avoid car sharing with anyone from outside your household or your support bubble. See the guidance on car sharing.

    If you need to use public transport, you should follow the safer travel guidance.

    International travel

    You can only travel internationally – or within the UK – where you first have a legally permitted reason to leave home. In addition, you should consider the public health advice in the country you are visiting.

    If you do need to travel overseas (and are legally permitted to do so, for example, because it is for work), even if you are returning to a place you've visited before, you should look at the rules in place at your destination and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice.

    UK residents currently abroad do not need to return home immediately. However, you should check with your airline or travel operator on arrangements for returning.

    Foreign nationals are subject to the ‘Stay at Home' regulations. You should not travel abroad unless it is permitted. This means you must not go on holiday.

    If you are visiting the UK, you may return home. You should check whether there are any restrictions in place at your destination.

    Staying away from home overnight

    You can stay overnight in a campsite, caravan, boat, second home, or other self-contained accommodation. This should only be with your household or support bubble. You must not stay overnight with anyone not in your household or support bubble, unless a legal exemption applies.

    Self-contained holiday accommodation may reopen. This is accommodation in which facilities are restricted to exclusive use of a single household/support bubble. Such facilities include:

    • kitchens
    • sleeping areas
    • bathrooms
    • indoor communal areas such as lounges, sitting areas and any lifts, staircases or internal corridors for entry and exit into the accommodation

  • Exercising and meeting other people

    You should minimise time spent outside your home.

    Outdoor gatherings (including in private gardens) of either 6 people (the Rule of 6) or 2 households are now allowed, making it easier for friends and families to meet outside.

    Outdoor sport facilities including tennis courts and golf courses have reopened, and organised outdoor sports can resume.

    Public outdoor places include:

    • Parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, forests
    • Public gardens (whether or not you pay to enter them)
    • The grounds of a heritage site
    • Playgrounds

    When around other people, stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household - meaning the people you live with - or your support bubble. Where this is not possible, stay 1 metre apart with extra precautions (e.g. wearing a face covering).

    You must wear a face covering in many indoor settings, such as shops or places of worship where these remain open, and on public transport, unless you are exempt. This is the law. Read guidance on face coverings.

  • Going to work

    You may only leave your home for work if you cannot reasonably work from home.

    Where people cannot work from home - including, but not limited to, people who work in critical national infrastructure, construction, or manufacturing - they should continue to travel to their workplace. This is essential to keeping the country operating and supporting sectors and employers.

    Public sector employees working in essential services, including childcare or education, should continue to go into work.

    Where it is necessary for you to work in other people's homes - for example, for nannies, cleaners or tradespeople - you can do so.

    Otherwise, you should avoid meeting for work in a private home or garden, where COVID-19 Secure measures may not be in place.

    Employers and employees should discuss their working arrangements, and employers should take every possible step to facilitate their employees working from home, including providing suitable IT and equipment to enable remote working.

    The risk of transmission can be substantially reduced if COVID-19 secureguidelines are followed closely. Extra consideration should be given to those people at higher risk.

  • Support and childcare 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

  • Going to school, college or university

    Blackpool's primary schools reopened to all pupils on 8 March. Secondary school year groups and college students were welcomed back throughout the week, with asymptomatic COVID-19 testing in place for them.

    Face coverings are recommended in class for secondary school students and staff, and also for parents and staff in primary schools. This will be reviewed at Easter.
    Most of our schools remained open throughout the pandemic to support critical workers and vulnerable children and we have managed this safely. We thank the teachers and support staff for all that they have done.


    Those students who are undertaking training and study for the following courses should return to face to face learning as planned and be tested twice, upon arrival or self-isolate for ten days:

    • Medicine and dentistry
    • Subjects allied to medicine/health
    • Veterinary science
    • Education (initial teacher training)
    • Social work
    • Courses which require Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) assessments and or mandatory activity which is scheduled for January and which cannot be rescheduled (your university will notify you if this applies to you).

    Students who do not study these courses should remain where they are wherever possible, and start their term online, as facilitated by their university until at least Mid-February. This includes students on other practical courses not on the list above.

    We have previously published guidance to universities and students onhow students can return safely to higher education in the spring term.

    This guidance sets out how we will support higher education providers to enable students that need to return to do so as safely as possible following the winter break.

    If you live at university, you should not move back and forward between your permanent home and student home during term time.

    For those students who are eligible for face to face teaching, you can meet in groups of more than your household as part of your formal education or training, where necessary. Students should expect to follow the guidance and restrictions. You should socially distance from anyone you do not live with wherever possible.

  • Care home visiting

    Close-contact indoor visits are now allowed now with one designated person as long as they have had regular negative test the last being on the day of the visit and they wear appropriate PPE.

    Visits can take place with arrangements such as substantial screens, visiting pods, or behind windows. Many care homes have already implemented such arrangements to facilitate safe visits which can continue.

    No visits are permitted in the event of an outbreak (except in exceptional circumstances such as end of life).

    Local guidance

    • Our local guidance is to have at least 2 negative tests, within 5 or less than 5 days interval between them, and the most recent test being on the day of visit
    • If the PPE is inadequate or fails due to poor compliance, supervision, training, support of the visitor there is a risk of transmission and serious complications.
    • Visitors should be supported to ensure that the appropriate PPE is always worn and used correctly, and they follow good hand hygiene. They should follow the guidance on how to work safely in domiciliary care in Englandto identify the PPE required for their visiting situation (e.g. disposable gloves / apron / type IIR mask). Care homes are being provided with PPE to meet these requirement
    • Visitors should be reminded and provided facilities to wash their hands for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser on entering and leaving the home, and to catch coughs and sneezes in tissues and clean their hands after disposal of the tissues
    • Visitors should have no contact with other residents and minimal contact with care home staff (less than 15 minutes/2 metres). Where needed, conversations with staff can be arranged over the phone following an in-person visit
    • All visitors should be asked if they have symptoms of acute respiratory infection before entering:
      • Cough
      • Difficulty in breathing
      • And/or high temperature
    • No one who is currently experiencing, or first experienced, coronavirus symptoms in the last 10 days, should be allowed to enter the premises, nor anyone who is a household contact of a case or who has been advised to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, or who is in a relevant quarantine period following return from travel
    • Visitor numbers should be limited to a maximum of 2 constant visitors wherever possible. This, for example, means the same family member visiting each time to limit the number of different individuals coming into contact
    • Care home managers have discretion to set up their own testing areas and ensure there is enough space to allow visitors to maintain social distancing before, during and after the test, including a waiting area and a one-way system
    • Care home managers should communicate to visitors the purpose of testing – that it does not completely remove the risk of infection in relation to visiting. It is important that care homes are clear to visitors about the expectations placed upon visitors participating in tested visiting (i.e., in respect of PPE use, social distancing, hand hygiene, any physical contact, actions in the event of a positive test)
    • These expectations include the requirement for a visitor who tests positive to immediately self-isolate and complete a confirmatory PCR test which they should be accessing through the national booking system online. If the confirmatory PCR comes back positive, their household must also self-isolate and contacts may also need to self-isolate in line with current government guidance. Care homes should obtain consent from visitors prior to participating in testing
    • In the event of an outbreak in a care home, the home should immediately stop visiting (except in exceptional circumstances such as end of life) to protect vulnerable residents, staff and visitors. There may be local policy and outbreak management arrangements, which will be important to follow. These restrictions should continue until the outbreak is confirmed as over. During the recovery phase (days 14 – 28) of the outbreak the home should do a risk assessment to assess their ability to manage safe visiting using visiting pods and/or PPE. At that point visiting may resume with the usual infection prevention and control measures and any enhancements required due to any risks identified following the recent outbreak.
  • Shielding for clinically extremely vulnerable people - Subject to change

    The government has issued new guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19.

    Further information on shielding

    Our Corona Kindness scheme is available with help and advice.

  • Childcare

    There are several ways that parents and carers can continue to access childcare:

    • Early Years settings (including nurseries and childminders) remain open
    • Vulnerable children and children of critical workers can continue to use registered childcare, childminders and other childcare activities (including wraparound care)
    • parents are able to form a childcare bubble with one other household for the purposes of informal childcare, where the child is under 14. This is mainly to enable parents to work, and must not be used to enable social contact between adults
    • some households will also be able to benefit from being in a support bubble
    • nannies will be able to continue to provide services, including in the home
  • Weddings, civil partnerships, religious services and funerals

    Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies and funerals are allowed with strict limits on attendance, and must only take place in COVID-19 secure venues or in public outdoor spaces unless in exceptional circumstances.

    Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people. Linked religious, belief-based or commemorative events, such as stone settings and ash scatterings can also continue with up to 6 people in attendance. Anyone working is not counted in these limits. Social distancing should be maintained between people who do not live together or share a support bubble.

    Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies can now take place with up to 15 people including the couple.

    Places of worship

    You can attend places of worship for a service. However, you must not mingle with anyone outside of your household or support bubble. You should maintain strict social distancing at all times.

    You should follow the national guidance on the safe use of places of worship.

  • Report businesses not complying with regulations

    If you have concerns about a business in Blackpool not following government guidance, please tell us.

    We can only respond to concerns made about businesses in Blackpool. Reports of businesses not in Blackpool will not be processed or passed on.
    Once a concern has been submitted, we will carry out the necessary checks to ensure that the business is compliant. If you have given us your contact details, we may contact you for more information.

    Report an issue now