When Britain went into coronavirus lockdown in March, the rule was simple and UK-wide: “Stay at home.”

Six months and 42,000 deaths later, we are a very different country, with regulations, laws, guidance and advice differing depending on where we live.

What you can and can’t do changes according to your nation, region and sometimes even local authority area.

You can get on a bus to pop to see your friend in one area while public transport should only be used for essential journeys in a neighbouring district.

Have five of your best mates round for a late-summer barbecue in one part of the country… but only socialise with your immediate household in another.

Pop to the pub with five pals in one council area… but only with members of your own household in the next.

Rules vary across the country

Tough new curbs for three Welsh counties came into force at 6pm last night.

Two hours earlier, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced tighter of restrictions for the North East. And seven days ago, Boris Johnson ordered his 10pm curfew.

It can be hard to keep up so here, amid a rapidly changing situation and with regional rules sometimes differing even between council areas, we try to detail what you can do, and where you can do it.

Bolton has one of the highest infection rates in the UK

North West

HOUSEHOLDS in Merseyside, Warrington, Halton and Lancashire are banned from socialising with people outside of their own households or support bubbles.

People in Manchester, Trafford, Oldham, Bury, Bolton, Tameside, Rochdale, Wigan and Salford have been told they must not meet people they do not live with inside a private home or garden, except in cases where they have formed a support bubble.

They are also advised not to socialise
with other people they do not live with in other indoor public venues – places such as pubs, restaurants and cafes.

The number of new coronavirus cases in the UK has risen

Northern Ireland

PEOPLE from different households are banned from mixing indoors, though there are exemptions such as forming a bubble with one other household.

No more than six people from two households are allowed in a private garden, though under-12s are exempt.

Journeys are not restricted. Masks mandatory on most public transport.


Scotland has so far taken a tougher line.

Nicola Sturgeon’s government has banned people from visiting other households.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says additional lockdown measures are almost certain

There are exemptions for those who have formed bubbles to support informal childcare such as co-parents who live apart.

Holyrood has imposed a 10pm curfew like England’s. Tradesmen are allowed to come into homes to carry out work.

North East

Tighter curbs were last night announced in some parts.

Measures were beefed up in Northumberland, Newcastle, North and South Tyneside, Gateshead, Sunderland and County Durham at the request of local councils because the virus was still spreading. It is now illegal for two households to mix at restaurants and pubs.

They were already banned from meeting in houses or gardens, but a curb on socialising at indoor public places had only been advisory.

A test centre in South Shields, South Tyneside


RESIDENTS of Leeds, Bradford and Kirklees are banned from socialising with people outside their own households or support bubbles in private homes and gardens.

Exemptions apply for children with parents living apart, existing social bubbles, and tradesmen. Leeds Council says measures will stay “as long as it takes” to stem the infection rate.


There's been a rise in the number of coronavirus cases in Birmingham

Those in Birmingham, Solihull, Sandwell, Wolverhampton, Leicester, Oadby and Wigston should not socialise with people in private homes or gardens unless they live with them or are in their support bubble.

Seeing people from outside your household is still allowed in public venues such as pubs and restaurants, within the Rule of Six.

People can travel in and out of the area, but take holidays only within their own household or support bubble.


THE capital has been added to Public Health England’s watch list amid mounting concerns over the rising rate of infections there.

People have been advised to work from home where possible.

The Rule of Six still applies, meaning people from different households can socialise in groups of up to six, both indoors and outdoors.

Pubs and restaurants are open, but drinkers and diners must be off the premises by the 10pm curfew.


TWO-thirds of the population is subject to local lockdowns.

This means people cannot leave or enter those areas without a reasonable excuse, such as travelling for work or education.

The South Wales boroughs of Vale of Glamorgan, Neath Port Talbot and Torfaen became the latest to be hit with restrictions at 6pm last night.

They were in place in Cardiff, Swansea, Llanelli, Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Merthyr Tydfil, Newport, and Rhondda Cynon Taf.

People are banned from meeting anyone they do not live with indoors.

South West

Restrictions are looser than elsewhere.

People are still governed by the Rule of Six and pubs and restaurants must say goodbye to customers by 10pm.

But so far the region has avoided any of the tighter curbs imposed on vast swathes of the country.

People should work from home where they can and should continue to obey social distancing, as well as following the “hands, face, space” guidance issued by the Government.