Answers have been provided from UK Government
Can you tell me clearly who is allowed to go to work?
With the exception of the closure of non-essential shops and public spaces, we have not required any other businesses to close – it is important for business to carry on.
Employers should take every possible step to facilitate their employees working from home, including providing suitable IT and equipment to enable remote working.
Sometimes this will not be possible – we understand that certain jobs require people to travel to their work, for instance if they operate machinery or are delivering front line services, such as train and bus drivers, those in the financial services sector, construction workers, restaurant workers handling deliveries or health and social care workers.
So, if you cannot work from home then you can still travel to work, provided you are well and neither you nor any of your household are self-isolating.
Employers who have people in their offices or onsite should ensure that employees are able to follow Public Health England guidelines including, where possible, maintaining a 2 metre distance from others and washing their hands.
Are you allowed to leave home to look for work?
We have been clear that you can only leave home for one of four reasons shopping for basic necessities, exercise, medical/caring need and travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.
Looking for work does not fall into these categories. We would encourage people to use other ways to look for work, such as online, and for any interviews to be conducted over video call.
What does extremely vulnerable mean?
Extremely vulnerable is a new classification, which refers to approximately 81,000 people in Wales who have one of a very specific list of pre-existing and long-term health conditions.
The impact of their pre-existing, long-term health condition on their immune system puts them at very high risk of serious illness if they are exposed to coronavirus.
We are asking this group of people to take a series of special measures – called shielding – to protect themselves from getting ill.
How is this different to the at-risk category?
This is a very different group to the at-risk group. The at-risk group covers people who are over-70, pregnant women and people with pre-existing and long-term conditions, who are at an increased risk of developing a serious illness if exposed to coronavirus.
This group should follow the stay-at-home rules but they can go out to collect shopping and food if they (and the people in their household) are symptom free.
The at-risk group is:
- Those who are 70 and over (regardless of medical conditions)
- Those under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (ie anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds):
- chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
- chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
- chronic kidney disease
- chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
- chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), a learning disability or cerebral palsy
- problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell anaemia or if you have had your spleen removed
- a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
- being seriously overweight (a BMI of 40 or above)
- those who are pregnant
Can I leave my home if I am shielding?
You should not leave the house if you are shielding. Where possible ask friends and family to help you get the things you need such as food and medicines. If you do not have anyone to help, call the local authority number provided on the letter you received.
If you have routine medical appointments your GP practice or hospital care team will contact you to make different arrangements where possible.
If you need to contact your GP practice or hospital team, do so by phone or email – they will be able to advise you about what to do next.
Can I meet my friend and go for a walk with them if we keep 2 metres apart?
We ask that you reduce your social contact as much as possible
We encourage you to exercise once a day – like a walk, a run or a bike ride, but it is safest to do this by yourself or with members of your household only, not in large groups.
It is important to do this responsibly, keeping at least 2 metres apart from others at all times.
I’m at home with three children – can we all go out together?
All members of a household are allowed out. Our intention is to minimise social contact between households. As per PHE guidelines, if one person in a household ought to be self-isolating, all members of that household ought to be self-isolating.
While people in the same household can go on a walk together, they need to adhere to the social distancing guidelines and not come into unnecessary contact with others.
What will be closed because of this latest change?
We do now need to close shops and organisations that are not essential to everyday life.
We are therefore asking hair, beauty and nail salons, clothes and electronics shops, and outdoor and indoor markets to close [this does not include supermarkets].
We also need to close community spaces where people gather. These include places of worship, playgrounds and other enclosed spaces in parks, libraries, community centres, indoor recreation centres and outdoor gyms.
Shall I aim to get all my food delivered to my house?
People can still go out to buy basic necessities but should only leave the house to shop for food and other essentials if they have to.
We will continue working closely with supermarkets to help them meet the demand for online deliveries.
We’re also working with local authorities to deliver essential items to those who are most vulnerable.
Isn’t the 2 metre rule broken at the supermarket checkout?
We need everyone to do their bit to stop the spread of the virus.
We all have a responsibility to keep a distance from others – including while shopping.
Food shops that remain open will be expected to comply with requirements on people to keep a distance from each other.
Are you closing all places of worship?
Yes. We sadly must close community spaces where people gather, including places of worship.
This also includes people gathering together for collective worship in private homes.
People are encouraged connect digitally or with family for services.
Is there any prospect of churches opening for Easter Sunday?
With the greatest regret, for the time being, places of worship will be closed.
We will revisit these policies in three weeks.
We do not want this to go on for a day longer than it has to. But protecting the NHS and saving lives is the national priority.
I live by myself, am in the vulnerable group and need to get my medicine. What should I do?
We recognise the concern and uncertainty about the practicalities of everyday life that these new measures create, but we’re determined you won’t face this alone.
Where friends and family aren’t able to help you access your medicine, we will provide the support you need through the new Local Support System, which will ensure you receive basic groceries and your medicine is delivered to you.
Government advice isn’t clear. Our company works much better in the office together but I can get by at home. Shall I work at home?
We have been repeatedly clear that people should work from home where they can, and we urge those who can do so to stay at home.
We therefore ask you and your employer to take every possible step to allow you to work from home.
We must ensure that everyone plays their part during this challenging period, to reduce the spread of the coronavirus and save lives.
What will happen if businesses do not close?
As of 2pm on 21 March 2020, closures are now enforceable by law in England and Wales due to the threat to public health.
Environmental Health and Trading Standards officers, with police support if appropriate, will work together to issue prohibition notices challenging unsafe behaviours where businesses do not follow these restrictions.
Environmental Health and Trading Standards officers will monitor compliance, and businesses who fail to comply can also receive fines. Officers will also have powers to prosecute for breaches of regulations.
So shall I get takeaway from my restaurant to ease burden on supermarkets?
We’ve relaxed planning rules so that pubs and restaurants can operate their own food delivery services. This means people can carry on supporting local restaurants and cafes who can now provide takeaways.
Our retailers and the food producers who supply them are working around the clock to keep shelves stocked and the nation fed.
There is more than enough food to go round and our food supply chain is able to expand production to cope with increased demand.
Can I collect a takeaway or is it delivery only?
People can still collect their takeaways in person where restaurants remain open, but need to keep a distance from each other.