Guidance from the government

The government have put some rules in place to help stop coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading.

Some new rules came into place from 4 July (for all of England, except for some places that are in a local lockdown e.g. Leicester).

We've created an easy read guide to help explain some of the things that you can and cannot do.

There is separate guidance in place for Wales and Northern Ireland.

Easy read guide to what you can do

When can I leave my home?

You can leave home to shop, exercise, spend time outside or to get medical treatment. 

In England businesses like restaurants, pubs, cinemas, hotels and campsites are allowed to open as long as they follow social distancing guidelines. Certain business will still be closed and places that are closed will differ across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

You can continue to leave your home more than once a day and travel beyond your local area to exercise, especially if this is important to your health.

Local lockdowns

Some places in the UK have more coronavirus cases than other parts of the country.

To help keep people safe in these areas some rules may be put in place which may affect you if you live there, especially if you are someone who is most likely to get very poorly from coronavirus. If you are one of these people you will be on the shielded patients list.

The following areas have higher cases of coronavirus in the UK and are taking advanced measures. Click on each location to visit the local authority website and find out more about what is happening there:

Everyone on the shielded patients list who lives in one of these areas will receive a text and a letter to tell them that advanced measures are being taken in their local area, what the instructions are for them, and where they can find more information and support.

Find out more about shielding guidance for the rest of the country in our easy read guide here.

Greater Manchester, East Lancashire and West Yorkshire

There has been an outbreak of coronavirus in parts of Greater Manchester, East Lancashire and West Yorkshire.

Because of this the government and local authorities have put some rules in place for these areas to help control the spread of coronavirus.

You can read more here about the rules for these areas including what you can and can't do if you live, work or travel in the areas that are affected.

You can find out what is happening in you local area by using our local support map.

Social distancing 

It is still important to be careful when you do go out or see other people, to reduce the chance of getting ill or infecting other people.

You must follow social distancing rules, which means keeping 2 metres apart from people who are not from your household or someone who supports you.

If it is not possible to keep 2 metres apart from people then there are some things you can do to keep safe, such as:

  • stay at least 1 metre away from other people
  • wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth
  • turn your face away from other people’s faces
  • wash your hands as often as possible
  • do not touch your face.

See our easy read guide about the 2 metre social distancing rule for more information.

Support bubbles

People in Northern Ireland and England who live on their own (aka single households) can now spend time at another household in a ‘support bubble’.

These support bubbles only apply to single adult households or single parents with children under 18. Social bubbles cannot be used by people who are shielding.

Meeting up with people who are not from your household

In England, you can meet indoors or outdoors in groups of 2 households (a support bubble counts as 1 household) following social distancing guidelines. You can stay overnight from your home with your own household or support bubble, or with members of one other household.

You can also continue to spend time outdoors, including private gardens and other outdoor spaces, in groups of up to 6 people from different households, following social distancing guidelines.

In Wales, people can meet in public places with members of 1 other household, maintaining social distancing.

In Northern Ireland, groups of up to 10 people from different households can meet outdoors, maintaining social distancing.

Face coverings

We have created easy read guides about face coverings and when they should be worn. We have created one guide for people living in England, and another guide for people living in Wales and Northern Ireland.

Some people do not have to wear face coverings on public transport. (For example; because you have a disability that means you cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering, or because it causes severe distress).

There are cards that people can carry with them to help explain why they are not wearing a mask if someone asks them in public, or to ask someone else to remove their face mask/covering so they can be understood better:

Find out more

See official guidance from the government (in England, Northern Ireland and Wales) to find out more about the restrictions around coronavirus (COVID-19).

Resources from other organisations

The following resources and information has been produced by other organisations.

We think you might find them useful during this time.

Guidance posters from Keep Safe

Keep Safe have produced some easy read materials to help explain the government's guidance on coronavirus.

The guides they've created include:

Talk to us

We know this is a difficult and unusual time. We're here to help.

If you need information or advice you can contact our helpline or if you can, have a chat on our online community

Contact the helpline Go to the online community