High transmission of the virus. Risk of overwhelming NHS capacity without significant restrictions in place.
R is near or above 1 and there are a high number of infectious cases.
Protections advised in each phase
Physical distancing requirements in place
Frequent handwashing and hygiene measures for all
Cough etiquette is maintained.
Face coverings in enclosed public spaces, including public transport
We know how hard people at the highest clinical risk are finding the advice to shield, and that you are concerned about what will follow the initial 12 week shielding period. We will be updating the advice to people who are shielding in the course of the coming weeks. We will base that advice on what you are telling us about what matters to you, as well as on the evidence, in order to improve your quality of life while keeping your risks as low as possible.
Seeing family and friends
Strict physical distancing and hygiene measures
Contact should be within own household only
No public gatherings except for meetings of two people permitted.
Self-isolation/household isolation if displaying symptoms
Shielding of very high risk individuals
Stay at home with essential travel only, staying in local area.
Active travel including walking and cycling in local area for daily exercise
Public transport operating with limited service and capacity with physical distancing
Passengers recommended to wear face coverings, only to travel for essential purposes and to avoid busy routes/periods
Schools and childcare services closed
Schools, childcare and other educational settings
Measures in place to support home learning and to provide outreach services to vulnerable children
Critical childcare provision for key workers and vulnerable children provided through hubs, nurseries and childminding services
Universities and colleges closed – remote learning and research
Working or running a business
Closure of non-essential workplaces
Social distancing requirements for essential businesses
Remote working is the default position
Shopping, eating and drinking out
Shopping for necessities, with distancing measures
Closure of non-essential retail, libraries and some indoor public spaces
Closure and restriction of businesses selling food or drink
Closure of outdoor markets
Sport, culture and leisure activities
Daily (unlimited) exercise
Closure of entertainment premises and leisure facilities
Closure of playgrounds
Closure of holiday accommodation
Community and public services
Limited number of courts open and business limited.
All jury business halted
Other services restricted where necessary in line with public health advice
Gatherings and occasions
No public gatherings of more than two people
No mass gatherings
Funerals take place with limited number of attendees
Health and Social Care
All non-urgent care health care services stopped and capacity focused on COVID-19 response:
COVID hubs and assessment centres
Urgent care including dental and the creation of ICU capacity
Joint working to reduce delayed discharges by over 60% and prioritising "home first" and prioritisation of safety and wellbeing of care home residents and staff
Urgent and cancer care still available
Notes: Above examples are illustrations, and are not intended to be comprehensive. Each phase description should be viewed as a general description rather than precise definitions of permitted activities.
All decisions on phasing will be kept under review as the research evidence base on the impact of the virus and the effectiveness of different interventions builds.