National lockdown : what does it mean for me?

To help stop the spread of coronavirus, the government is advising everyone to stay at home from 5 January 2021.
national lockdown 2021

With Coronavirus cases rising rapidly and our hospitals under extreme pressure, the Government has announced a new national lockdown. 

But what does it mean for you and your family? We explain the details.

Leaving home

You must stay at home. You can only leave in certain circumstances:

  • to shop for basic necessities
  • to go to work, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
  • to exercise once a day and only in your immediate area. You can exercise with your household or one other person. 
  • to meet your support bubble or childcare bubble, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
  • to seek medical help or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm. This includes escaping domestic abuse
  • for those that are eligible, you are able to travel to school, college or childcare. Schools and colleges will be closed to everyone except key worker and vulnerable children.
  • If you do have to leave your home for one of the above reasons, then you must stay in your immediate area unless you need to travel further for work.

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you should only go out for medical appointments, exercise. You should not attend work.


Schools, universities and colleges will remain closed to all children apart from key workers and those who are classed as vulnerable. 

Schools will provide online learning for all children until February half term

Higher Education provision will remain online until mid February for all except future critical worker courses.

Meeting people

You cannot meet with anyone who isn't from your household or support bubble either indoors or outside.

The only exception is that you can exercise outside with one other person outside of your household.

All of these measures will be put in law.

More information

You can read all the latest guidance including the details about exemptions on the Government website here 

Help is available to you

If you're struggling to get food or medication, or perhaps you're finding it hard to cope at home, get in touch with Medway Council.

If you still need support with food, shopping, medicines or prescriptions, call them on 01634 333 103 or email

If you are feeling lonely or are struggling at home contact or phone 01634 564 939. The team from Medway Voluntary Action and Carers FIRST can arrange for someone to chat to you on the phone.

You don't need to struggle alone.

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