As we move into day 2 of the third national lockdown, plenty of questions are being asked about which places will be able to stay open.
Government guidance has stated that we should stay at home whenever possible, and only leave if it is essential.
But what are the rules when it comes to car MOTs, visiting banks and the need to see your dentist?
We’ve taken a look at some of the frequently asked questions around lockdown 3 and answered them for you:
Are dentists staying open during lockdown?
Doctors and GPs will remain open but what about dentists?
Thankfully dentists are considered an essential service so will remain open during lockdown.
In England, dentists can see patients for both urgent and non-urgent appointments.
What about opticians?
Opticians are also considered an essential medical service, with around 4.5% of British people experiencing some type of sight loss in their lifetime.
This means the following optician services can be provided during lockdown:
- Face to face essential, urgent or emergency eye care
- Emergency and urgent referrals only
- All other services will be provided remotely.
Can I stay in a hotel during lockdown?
Hospitality has been hit hard and hotels have been forced to close to the general public, however they can remain open for specific reasons set out in law.
These include where guests are unable to return to their main residence, use that guest accommodation as their main residence, need accommodation while moving house, are self-isolating as required by law, or would otherwise be made homeless as a result of the accommodation closing.
Are banks open?
Again banks are considered essential, and so can remain open for customers.
Social distancing guidelines must be adhered to inside banks, and customers will have to wear face masks.
Can I get my car MOT?
Garages will remain open throughout the lockdown period, the Government has confirmed.
They’re classed as an essential service – just as they were for the previous two national lockdowns.
That means that if you’re booked in for an MOT, you can still drive to the garage as planned.
Who is allowed to work as normal during lockdown? And who can considered a ‘key worker’?
A key worker is defined as ‘a public service employee who is considered to provide an essential service.’
The government’s list of key workers includes the following:
- Health and social care (doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers)
- Teachers, school support staff, childcare staff, social workers and other specialist educational professionals.
- Those essential to the running of the justice system.
- Religious staff.
- Charities and workers delivering key frontline service.
- Those responsible for the management of the deceased.
- Journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting.
- Essential public services and those workers on the Covid-19 response in local and national government.
- Food processing, production, distribution, sale and delivery workers.
- Police and support staff.
- Border security, National Crime Agency staff, contractors and Armed Forces personnel.
- Transport workers
- Staff needed for essential financial services provision (e.g. workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure).
- The oil, gas, electricity and water sectors, including sewerage.
- Information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the coronavirus response.
- Key staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications (including, but not limited to, network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical services).
- Postal services and delivery.
- Payments providers.
- Waste disposal sectors.
Can coffee shops remain open?
Coffee shops can remain open under the latest coronavirus restrictions, but not as normal.
Customers won’t be able to sit in to have drink or snacks, as hospitality venues, including cafes, can serve food and drinks for takeaway only.
Can you travel, either abroad or across the UK?
Under the new rules, international travel is banned in most circumstances and holidays abroad are not allowed.
People are only able to travel internationally or within the UK where you first have a legally permitted reason to leave home. (e.g. for work, medical treatment or for urgent compassionate reasons.)
If you do have a legally permitted reason to leave the country, the government advises you should also consider the public health advice in the country you are visiting.
Are dry cleaners and laundrettes still open?
Thankfully, laundrettes and dry cleaners have been deemed as essential businesses so can stay open – as they have throughout the past year.
The full list of businesses that can stay open are:
- essential retail such as food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres, building merchants and suppliers of building products and off-licences
- market stalls selling essential retail may also stay open
- businesses providing repair services may also stay open, where they primarily offer repair services
- petrol stations, automatic (but not manual) car washes, vehicle repair and MOT services, bicycle shops, and taxi and vehicle hire businesses
- banks, building societies, post offices, short-term loan providers and money transfer businesses
- funeral directors
- laundrettes and dry cleaners
- medical and dental services
- vets and retailers of products and food for the upkeep and welfare of animals
- animal rescue centres, boarding facilities and animal groomers (may continue to be used for animal welfare, rather than aesthetic purposes)
- agricultural supplies shops
- mobility and disability support shops
- storage and distribution facilities
- car parks, public toilets and motorway service areas
- outdoor playgrounds
- outdoor parts of botanical gardens and heritage sites for exercise
- places of worship
- crematoriums and burial grounds