Phil Day By Superintendent Pharmacist Published:

As the coronavirus continues to spread at a high rate, the Government is introducing stricter measures across the whole of England, to help save lives and prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed over the winter.

The new restrictions will be in place in England from 5th November. Here we’ve created a helpful breakdown of the latest government guidance and how this compares to the first national lockdown back in March.

Government guidance questions  

March lockdown 

November lockdown – what’s changed

What is the update for vulnerable patients?

Anyone in the following category should “shield” to limit their risk of catching the coronavirus:

  • Aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)
  • Under 70 with an underlying health condition (e.g. anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds)
  • Are pregnant
The age bracket has been reduced from 70 to 60, so if you are over 60 years old, have a long term health condition or are pregnant you are at a higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus.

The Government is asking this group to be ‘especially careful’ but they won’t be asked to resume shielding.

What are the rules around support bubbles?

Support bubbles hadn’t yet been created.A support bubble is where a household with one adult joins with another household. Households in that support bubble can still visit each other, stay overnight, and visit outdoor public places together.

What is the guidance on working from home?

Everyone was advised to work from home, unless this was not possible.If you’re able to work from home effectively you should. People who cannot do so, for example those who work in critical national infrastructure, construction or manufacturing, should continue to travel to work/attend their workplace.

Schools, colleges and universities – will they remain open?

Schools, colleges and universities were closed.Schools, colleges and universities will remain open in order to support the wellbeing and education of their pupils and their working parents and guardians.

What retail and facilities are open?

Essential shops were allowed to remain open.Retailers providing essential goods and services can remain open, such as:

  • Pharmacies
  • Supermarkets
  • Takeaways
  • Garden centres – a new addition since the March lockdown

Outdoor public spaces will also remain open including playgrounds.

Venues used for childcare, schools, colleges and universities are also to stay open.

What retail and facilities will be closed?

A number of non-essential businesses that weren’t able to work from home were temporarily closed.

  • All retail unless online
  • All pubs, bars and restaurants except takeaways
  • All personal care
  • All indoor and outdoor leisure and entertainment venues
  • All places of worship (with the exception of funerals)
The Government has ordered a number of business and venues to close, including:

  • Non-essential retail unless they offer click and collect
  • Indoor and outdoor leisure facilities
  • Entertainment venues including cinemas and zoos
  • Personal care facilities such as salons
  • Pubs, bars, restaurants, unless they provide takeaway and delivery
  • Places of worship (with the exception of funerals)
    Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies

Can you meet family and friends?

You were not allowed to meet anyone outside of your household.You must not meet indoors with family or friends, or in private gardens, unless they are part of your household or support bubble.

You can meet one person from another household in an outdoor public place or to exercise (this is outside of your household and support bubble).

What are the rules for self-isolating?

If you experienced symptoms, advice was to stay at home for at least 7 days.If anyone you lived with experienced symptoms, everyone in the house was advised to stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person showed symptoms.If you have symptoms or have tested positive for coronavirus, you’ll usually need to self-isolate for at least 10 days.You’ll need to self-isolate for 14 days if:

  • Someone you live with has symptoms or tested positive
  • Someone in your support bubble has symptoms or tested positive
  • You’ve been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace

It’s important to remember wherever you go to maintain hygiene and social distancing.


With these new restrictions in England, the opportunities to spend time with friends and family from outside your household will be limited. We understand how difficult this may be for you and your families.

Since the first national lockdown in March, we’ve helped save over 3 million trips outside by delivering medicines directly to our patients’ homes, helping to keep us all safe. We will continue to support both new and existing patients and the NHS with our service, through the winter months and beyond. If you have family or friends with a health condition, we can help them with their NHS repeat prescriptions too.

Share our service

Please continue to keep yourselves and your loved ones safe and protect the NHS by following the latest guidance, which can always be found here.

Visit our coronavirus hub for more