England is in lockdown until 12:01am on Wednesday 2 December 2020. There are big changes to the rules about what you can and cannot do. Please make sure you understand them, so we can keep everyone safe.
Once the lockdown ends, Middlesbrough will move into Tier 3 ('very high') of the Local Covid Alert Levels. The rest of the Tees Valley and north east will also be in Tier 3. Find out what Tier 3 means for you. There will be different rules in place from Wednesday 23 December to Sunday 27 December, which will let people spend time with family and friends. Read about the changes to rules over Christmas.
If you have symptoms of coronavirus, it's important you get tested as soon as you notice the symptoms. If you have coronavirus, or symptoms of coronavirus, or you've been told by Test and Trace that you've been in contact with someone who has coronavirus, you must self-isolate. It's a legal requirement, and it also helps keep people safe.
The NHS COVID-19 app is a vital part of our Test and Trace system. Please make sure you download it to your smartphone (you’ll need to keep your Bluetooth turned on for the app to work). You can also ‘check in’ at venues you visit.
We’ve summarised the current key restrictions (lockdown) below.
Stay at home
You should stay at home as much as possible, but you’re allowed to leave the house:
- to work or volunteer, if it cannot be done from home
- to go to school, college, university
- for childcare (full guidance on childcare is available on GOV.UK)
- to exercise or to visit an outdoor public place
- for medical reasons, including:
- routine GP or hospital appointments
- if you’re at risk of injury or harm, for example from domestic abuse
- vet appointments
- visiting someone giving birth or dying
- to buy essentials like food or medicine, to pay in or take money from your bank account, to collect click-and-collect or takeaway food or other items
- to visit members of your support bubble, to provide support to a vulnerable person, to provide childcare as part of a childcare bubble
The full list of reasons to leave home is available on GOV.UK.
If you need to leave home
If you do need to leave home, it’s essential that you follow the basic safety rules to protect yourself and anyone you come into contact with:
- wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds
- wear a face covering (unless you're exempt) - this includes in public places and on public transport - view the government's list of places you must wear a face covering
- keep your distance (2m if possible) from people you don't live with or who are not part of your 'bubble'
You cannot meet people from outside your household or ‘bubble’ indoors. You also cannot meet them in a private garden.
You’re strongly advised not to meet outdoors with anyone from outside your household or ‘bubble’. If you do, you can only meet with one person in:
- neighbourhood streets, parks, beaches, and the countryside
- public gardens and grounds (whether or not you pay to enter them)
- outdoor playgrounds
There are some exceptions to this rule. The full list of reasons to meet in larger groups is available on GOV.UK.
A maximum of 30 people can attend a funeral, and it's advised that only close friends and family attend. Attendees who are not part of the same household or 'bubble' must stay 2m apart.
Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies are not allowed to take place except in exceptional circumstances (where one of those getting married is seriously ill and not expected to recover).
The full list of changes to weddings and funerals is available on GOV.UK.
A number of different kinds of businesses must legally close:
- non-essential retail stores, including: clothing and electronics stores, travel agents, betting shops, car washes, electrical and mobile phone shops, and tobacco and vape shops
- hospitality venues like cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars, and social clubs
- indoor and outdoor leisure facilities, including: leisure centres and gyms, swimming pools, tennis courts, and golf courses
- entertainment venues, including: theatres, cinemas, museums and galleries, arcades, soft play, go-karting venues
- personal care providers, including: hair, beauty, and nail salons, tattoo and body piercing parlours, and tanning salons (and these services cannot be provided in a customer’s home)
- places of worship, apart from being used for independent prayer, broadcasting of services, and funerals
Food shops and supermarkets, as well as certain other retailers offering essential goods and services can stay open.
Non-essential retailers can stay open for delivery to customers and click-and-collect services. Hospitality venues like restaurants, bars, and pubs can still provide takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through, and delivery services.
The full list of businesses which must close and which can stay open is available on GOV.UK.
If you can work from home, you should. If it’s not possible for you to work from home, you should keep going to work.
Public sector employees working in essential services, including childcare or education, should still go to work.
If you need to work in other people's homes as part of your job - for example, for nannies, cleaners, or tradespeople - you can still do this.
If you work in a business which legally has to close, meaning you cannot go to work, information about financial support is available on GOV.UK.
It’s illegal for your employer to force you to work if you’re self-isolating because you have symptoms or you’ve been tested and the test says you have coronavirus.
School and education
Early Years settings, schools, colleges, universities, and vocational training centres, will stay open.
It’s recommended that universities and adult education services should use more online learning if possible.
The full guidance on education settings is available on GOV.UK.
Travel and holidays
You should avoid travelling both within, and outside of, the area you live in, unless you have an acceptable reason. Acceptable reasons for travelling include:
- going to work
- going to school, college, or university
- going to get food or medicine
- going to GP or hospital appointments, or vet appointments
- going to see someone you’re responsible for caring for
- going to see people in your support bubble or childcare bubble
Staying overnight somewhere other than your own home, or going on holiday (either in the UK or abroad) are not allowed. If you need to stay away overnight for work, this is allowed.
The full list of travel rules and the full list of rules about staying away from home overnight are available on GOV.UK.
What do I do?
We are all responsible for stopping the spread of coronavirus. It is essential that we follow these rules to keep ourselves, our loved ones, and everyone in Middlesbrough safe.
If you have symptoms, you must book a test as soon as possible. If you have symptoms, you must stay at home until you get your test, and then stay at home until you get your results. You should not leave your home for any reason, except to get a test. You should not go to school or work, or leave the house to buy food or exercise.
If your test is positive (meaning you do have coronavirus), you must self-isolate for a full 10 days from the day your symptoms started. If your test is negative (meaning you do not have coronavirus), you do not have to self-isolate once you get your results.
You can find out everything you need to know about self-isolation on the government website.
Please do not book a test if you do not have symptoms. You may be stopping someone with symptoms from being able to get the test they need.
How do I know if I have symptoms?
The symptoms of coronavirus are:
- a new continuous cough
- a high temperature
- a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell