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.
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.
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, childcare and other educational settings
Schools and childcare services closed.
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.
Other services restricted where necessary in line with public health advice.
All jury business halted.
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: Please refer to the Phase 3 table for specific dates at which Phase 3 changes occur. Some changes do not yet have a confirmed date. Please refer to guidance for more specific details on each change.
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