How are lockdown rules different in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland? – The Sun

CORONAVIRUS lockdown rules have large differences across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a lifting of some restrictions during a televised address on Sunday, May 10, but these do not apply to the whole of the United Kingdom and other parts of Britain.

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Are parts of the UK following different lockdown rules?

England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and other parts of Britain all have slightly different rules for the coronavirus lockdown.

It is because health is one of the powers which was handed out from Westminster during the devolution process.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all have their own governments who are in charge of these measures.

So despite Mr Johnson being Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, in this case he only speaks for England.

Crown dependencies Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man also are in charge of dealing with their own coronavirus lockdown plan.

The PM however during his speech on Sunday, May 10, said that lockdown changes depend on "all of us – the entire country".

The government also unveiled a new "stay alert, control the virus, save lives" logo on the same day, along with a new three step plan to try and get people back to work.

Mr Johnson said: "Though the UK will be changed by this experience, I believe we can be stronger and better than ever before."

However, the First Ministers of Scotland, Wales and Northern Irleand – Nicola Sturgeon, Mark Drakeford and Arlene Foster – all publicly rejected the new slogan, instead sticking with telling people to stay home.

The mission statement has been criticised for being too vague.

Mr Johnson was due to clarify his new plan during a statement to the House of Commons on Monday, May 11.


England has now been placed under a series of new eased or tweaked lockdown rules following the PM's speech.

People will be able to do unlimited exercise outdoors and can even go sit in the sun so long as they respect social distancing measures from Wednesday, May 13.

It means tennis courts and golf courses are also expected to reopen subject to them being made safe.

You will now also be able to drive to a destination to exercise, such as the countryside or a beach.

Workers who cannot work from home are also being encouraged to start up their jobs again if it is safe to do so from Monday, May 11 – specifically construction workers and those in manufacturing.

However, you must still avoid public transport and use your car, bicycle or walk to get to work.

Workplaces will also have be made "Covid-secure", and anyone who can still work at home is being told to carry on doing so.

Garden centres are also reopening so long as they have enforced social distancing measures.

Mr Johnson also unveiled his three step plan and a new Covid Alert System which will govern England's approach to the coming months.

In the longer term, it is hoped schools will reopen after June 1 and hospitality businesses may be able to start again in July.

The PM was clear however all of this is conditional on the continuing decline of the virus and he is ready to slam on the brakes.


Scotland has not begun a widespread easing of measures, instead having the only change being to allow people to exercise more than a once a day.

People from Monday, May 11, can go out more often – but she did not describe it as "unlimited".

The advice north of the border remains to "stay home" other than for buying food, exercising or getting medicine.

Workers are not being encouraged to get back to their jobs, and a long term exit plan has not yet been laid out.

Ms Sturgeon has urged the government not to deploy the new "stay alert" slogan in Scotland.

She warned the country's R number – which indicates the spread of infection – is higher than in England.

Ms Sturgeon said: "So for now, the message remains the same. You must stay at home, please stay at home.”

She added: "I am not, at this stage, asking anybody who is not working to go back to work, although we have said we are looking, with priority, at the construction sector, the retail sector and the manufacturing sector."


Wales has also opted to continue with the majority of lockdown regulations for the next three weeks.

Mr Drakeford announced a number of minor changes, but Wales is also refusing to adopt Mr Johnson's slogan and plan.

People have been told they can exercise more than once a day, but they must stay local – starting and ending their session at home.

This is in contrast to England's measures that allow people to drive to a location to exercise.

The Welsh Government warned people in England they are not allowed to travel to Wales for exercise.

Counsel General and Assembly Member Jeremy Miles said that those who cross the border could face police fines.

Local councils have also been given powers to begin planning on how to open libraries and recycling centres.

Garden centres were also given the green light to reopen with social distancing measures.

Mr Drakeford said: "My message to the people of Wales hasn’t changed.

"Staying at home is the best way you can protect yourself and others”.

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland also extended its lockdown measures by another three weeks with no immediate changes.

Ms Foster however said there would be "nuanced" tweaks to the rules in the days ahead.

It is expected this will include guidelines around being able to exercise outside for longer periods of time.

She said: "On the whole, the message is to stay at home.

“We will say we are not deviating from the message at this time.

“It is important for people to know we are not doing this in a nanny state way. Once we can move, we will move.”

Ms Foster added she wanted the UK to move together "as a bloc" and send a clear message.

The R rate in Northern Ireland remains 0.8, so the government want to drive it down further before taking more action.

Referring to Mr Johnson's new slogan and plan, she said: "There are differences across the UK, regional differences; I think the prime minister recognises those regional differences and, as a result, you may see slight differences across the UK."


Jersey made some adjustments to the lockdown restrictions on Saturday, May 2, as they eased measures.

Residents were told they were allowed to spend up to four hours outside their home doing essentials such as food shopping and exercise.

People were also allowed to spend time outside with up to two people not in of your household as long as your obeyed social distancing rules.

Chief Minister John Le Fondre said on Thursday, May 7, that it was the "right thing to do" to unlock Jersey.

He confirmed on Monday, May 11, that plans to test the whole population for coronavirus had been put on hold after a sample was taken.

The island's government said the testing kits would be held back to be used on a more targeted basis in the coming months.


Guernsey's government released its "Exit from Lockdown" plan on May 5 and as of May 11 were in "phase two" of the six phase scheme.

Islanders were given permission to spend up to four hours outside for exercise as long as they stick to social distancing measures.

Gardeners, builders and some other trades are being allowed to work as long as they stay safe.

The government's plan is to "test, trace and quarantine" as they attempt to keep pressure on the virus.

It is hoped the island will be able to soon move into phase three after a sustained reduction in cases.

The next reduction in measures would see a possible explansion of the household bubble, and places of worship to reopen without services.

Dr Nicola Brink, the island's director of public health, said it is possible they could roll the phases back if the outbreak worsens.

Isle of Man

The Isle of Man begun easing its coronavirus restrictions on Friday, April 24, after a reduction in the infection rate.

People were given permission to spend an unlimited time outside their home and construction workers could go back to work – similar to the measures announced on May 10 in England.

More restrictions were lifted on May 11 with the reopening of garden centres, with hopes to reopen other retail shops on May 18.

The island's border remains closed.

Authorities have also adopted a six phase plan to ease the island out of lockdown based on the latest data.

Office workers could return to work on May 25 subject to employers proving it is safe.

Chief Minister Howard Quayle said: "We need to balance the need to return to normality across health, society and the economy and have announced some changes in each of these areas today.

"These are gradual changes being made in a measured manner and we will issue further details on these aspects shortly."

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