Coronavirus restrictions remain in place across the country, including for people who have been vaccinated. In England:

  • You can meet indoors in a group of up to 6 people or a group of any size from 2 households
  • You can meet outside in a group of up to 30 people
  • Work from home if you can and travel safely
  • If you have symptoms get a test and stay at home

Meeting friends and family indoors

You can meet indoors in a group of up to 6 people or a group of any size from 2 households.

Meeting family and friends outdoors

It is safer to meet people outdoors. This is because COVID-19 spreads much more easily indoors. However, you can meet up indoors with friends and family you do not live with, either:

  • in a group of up to 6 from any number of households (children of all ages count towards the limit of 6)
  • in a group of any size from up to two households (each household can include an existing support bubble, if eligible)

If you are meeting friends and family, you can make a personal choice on whether to keep your distance from them, but you should still be cautious. You should read the guidance on meeting friends and family.

If you’re in a support bubble

If you are eligible to form a support bubble, you and your support bubble count as one household towards the limit of 2 households when meeting others indoors. This means, for example, that you and your support bubble can meet with another household, even if the total group size is more than 6 people.

Where you can meet indoors

You can meet in a group of 6 or a larger group of any size from up to 2 households (including their support bubbles) indoors in places such as:

  • private homes
  • retail
  • indoor hospitality venues, such as restaurants, bars and cafes
  • indoor sports and leisure facilities, such as gyms, sports courts, and swimming pools
  • personal care, such as spas
  • indoor entertainment and visitor attractions, such as museums, theatres, and indoor play areas

Remember to follow guidance on how to stop the spread of COVID-19, such as letting in fresh air.

When you can meet with more people

Gatherings above the limit of 6 people or 2 households indoors can only take place if they are covered by a legal exemption, such as:

  • organised parent and child groups or support groups which can be attended by up to 30 people
  • for the purposes of work or volunteering. This means, for example, a tradesperson can go into a household without breaking the limit if they are there for work
  • to provide care or assistance for disabled or vulnerable people, including shopping for essential items and accessing services on their behalf.

Childcare

Up to 6 people from different households or a larger number of no more than 2 households can meet indoors without the need for a formal childcare arrangement. All children can go to registered childcare, childminders, wraparound care and other supervised children’s activities indoors and outdoors.

Parent and child groups can take place indoors as well as outdoors, with up to 30 people. Children under 5 who are accompanying a parent or guardian do not count towards this limit. See the parent and child groups section of this guidance.

Meeting others for childcare

Gatherings above the limit of 6 people or 2 households indoors, or above 30 outdoors can take place for the following purposes:

  • for education, registered childcare, and supervised activities for children – see further information on education and childcare
  • for arrangements where children do not live in the same household as both their parents or guardians
  • to allow contact between birth parents and children in care, as well as between siblings in care
  • to place or facilitate the placing of a child or children in the care of another by social services

 Parent and child groups

Parent and child groups can take place indoors as well as outdoors (but not in private homes or gardens) if they are for the benefit of children aged under 5 and organised by a business, charity or public body.

Parent and child groups must be limited to no more than 30 people. Children under five and anyone working or volunteering as part of the group, such as a group leader, are not counted in this number.

Support groups which provide support functions for parents, carers, or their children

Support groups can take place with up to 30 participants where officially organised to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support. Support groups must be organised by a business, charity or public body and if taking place indoors, must not take place in a private home.

There is further guidance on how to run or attend a support group safely within the guidance for the safe use of multi-purpose community facilities.

Examples of support groups include those that provide support to:

  • victims of crime (including domestic abuse)
  • those with, or recovering from, addictions (including alcohol, narcotics or other substance addictions) or addictive patterns of behaviour
  • those with, or caring for people with, any long-term illness or terminal condition or who are vulnerable (including those with a mental health condition)
  • those facing issues related to their sexuality or identity (including those living as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender)
  • those who have suffered bereavement
  • vulnerable young people (including to enable them to meet youth workers)
  • disabled people and their carers

The limit of 30 does not include children under 5 who are accompanying a parent or guardian. Where a person has a clear and formal role (paid or voluntary) to run the group or help it operate, rather than only attending as a member of the group to obtain support, they do not have to be counted as part of the gatherings limit.

Providing care or assistance

Gatherings above the limit of 6 people or 2 households indoors can take place for the purposes of providing care or assistance, such as:

  • to visit people in your support bubble (if you are legally permitted to form one)
  • to provide emergency assistance
  • to go to a support group of up to 30 participants. The limit of 30 does not include children under 5 who are accompanying a parent or guardian
  • to provide care or assistance for disabled or vulnerable people, including shopping for essential items and accessing services on their behalf

You can also provide care or assistance for disabled or vulnerable people inside someone’s home, where necessary.

You should follow the guidance on how to stop the spread of coronavirus at all times. There is further guidance for those who provide unpaid care to friends or family.

Support groups

Support groups that have to be delivered in person can continue with up to 15 participants where formally organised to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support. Support groups must be organised by a business, charity or public body and must not take place in a private home. All participants should maintain social distancing. Examples of support groups include those that provide support to:

  • victims of crime (including domestic abuse)
  • those with, or recovering from, addictions (including alcohol, narcotics or other substance addictions) or addictive patterns of behaviour
  • those with, or caring for persons with, any long-term illness or terminal condition or who are vulnerable (including those with a mental health condition)
  • those facing issues related to their sexuality or identity (including those living as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender)
  • those who have suffered bereavement
  • vulnerable young people (including to enable them to meet youth workers)
  • disabled people and their carers

Some parent and child groups may also take place indoors. See the parent and child groups section of this guidance.

The limit of 15 does not include children under 5 who are accompanying a parent or guardian. Where a group includes someone covered by an exception (for example, someone who is working or volunteering), they are not generally counted as part of the gatherings limit. This means, for example, a tradesperson can go into a household without breaching the limit, if they are there for work, and the officiant at a wedding would not count towards the limit.

Exercise, sport and physical activity

You can do unlimited exercise but there are limits on the number of people you can exercise with. You can exercise in a group of up to 30 people when outdoors. When indoors, you can exercise:

    • on your own
    • in a group of up to 6 people
    • in a larger group of any size from up to 2 households (and their support bubbles, if eligible)

    You can also take part in formally organised indoor and outdoor sports or licensed physical activity with any number of people. This must be organised by a business, charity or public body and the organiser must take the required precautions, including the completion of a risk assessment. You should avoid contact in training and, for some sports, avoid contact in all activities. Read the guidance on what avoiding contact means for your sport.

    Indoor leisure facilities may open for you to exercise on your own, in groups of up to 6 people or in a group of any size from up to 2 households.

    You should follow the guidance:

Travelling within England

You should continue to plan ahead and travel safely where possible.

You can plan ahead and travel safely by taking the following precautions:

  • walk or cycle where possible
  • plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport
  • regularly wash or sanitise your hands
  • wear a face covering on public transport, unless you’re exempt
  • make sure the space is well ventilated. Open windows or take other actions to let in plenty of fresh air

You must not share a private vehicle in groups larger than 6 people (except when everyone present is from no more than 2 households), unless your journey is made for an exempt reason.

There is additional guidance on safer travel, including on the safe use of public transport.

 Travelling within the UK, the Republic of Ireland and the Channel Islands

Travelling to England

Across the different parts of the Common Travel Area (the UK, the Republic of Ireland, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man), there may be rules in place that restrict travel to England.

You should check the restrictions in place where you intend to travel from before making arrangements to travel.

Provided you are permitted to travel from another part of the Common Travel Area (the UK, the Republic of Ireland, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man), you may enter England and are not required to quarantine on arrival. If you do travel to England, you must follow the restrictions on what you can and cannot do.

Travelling from England

Across the different parts of the Common Travel Area (the UK, the Republic of Ireland, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man), there may be rules in place that restrict travel from England. You do not need a reasonable excuse to leave England to travel to other parts of the UK, Jersey, Guernsey, the Isle of Man or the Republic of Ireland. You should check the restrictions in place where you intend to travel to before making arrangements to travel.

Travelling to or from Northern Ireland

Currently in Northern Ireland it is against the law to leave home without a reasonable excuse. Those arriving into Northern Ireland from another part of the Common Travel Area are asked to self-isolate for 10 days upon arrival. There are a number of exemptions to this request.

Travelling to or from Scotland

Scottish Coronavirus regulations permit unrestricted travel within Scotland and between Scotland and England, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man. Travel restrictions remain in place for travel between Scotland and the rest of the world. There is further guidance on travelling to and from Scotland.

Travelling to or from Wales

There are no restrictions in place for travel into or out of Wales as long as you are travelling within the UK or wider Common Travel Area (the Republic of Ireland, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man). Across the different parts of the Common Travel Area, there may be rules in place that restrict travel from Wales. You do not need a reasonable excuse to leave Wales to travel to other parts of the UK, Jersey, Guernsey, the Isle of Man or the Republic of Ireland. You should check the restrictions in place where you intend to travel to before making arrangements to travel. This guidance provides advice on travelling to and from Wales.

International travel

Travelling internationally from England

There are no longer any restrictions on leaving England to travel internationally, however to protect public health in the UK and the vaccine rollout, you should not travel to countries or territories on the red or amber lists.

If you travel to one of these countries or territories, you should look at the rules in place at your destination and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice. You should do this even if you are returning to a place you’ve visited before.

Travelling to England from outside the UK

All visitors travelling to England are subject to the coronavirus restriction rules.

What you must do when you arrive in England from abroad depends on where you have been in the last 10 days before you arrive.

People planning to travel to England should follow the guidance on entering the UK.

Find out what list the country you are travelling from is on and what you need to do.