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Roadmap: Frequently Asked Questions

Last reviewed on 29 March

Here are some answers to questions you may have about the government's four-step plan to ease lockdown restrictions, which began on 8 March.

As of 29 March:

  • You are allowed to meet outside, either with one other household or within the 'rule of six', including in private gardens.
  • The stay at home rule has ended but you should stay local as much as possible, and also work from home where possible.
  • Outdoor sport facilities have reopened and formally organised outdoor sports can restart.
  • Parents and children groups can return but are capped at 15 and must be outdoors. Indoor groups can take place for vulnerable children and where parents need the groups to go to work.
  • Weddings attended by up to six people can take place in any circumstances.
  • All schools and colleges reopened on 8 March, while university students returned for practical courses.
  • Wraparound childcare returned for vulnerable pupils and where it is needed for parents or carers to go to work, support groups or to seek medical care.
  • There continue to be restrictions on international travel. Holidays are not a permitted reason to travel.
  • The rules on visiting care homes have changed to allow regular indoor visits for a single named visitor.

Otherwise, we await the next step of the government's roadmap (12 April) meaning: 

  • You must not mix with other households indoors, unless they're in your support or childcare bubble.
  • Non-essential shops, leisure and entertainment venues remain closed.
  • Pubs and restaurants are closed except for takeaway food.

Read the full roadmap on the government website.

As of 29 March:

  • You are allowed to meet outside, either with one other household or within the 'rule of six', including in private gardens.

Stay two metres apart from anyone not in your household.

People should only come inside your home for specific purposes:

  • Where everyone in the gathering lives together or is in the same support bubble
  • To attend a birth at the mother’s request
  • To visit a person who is dying – the visitor can be someone the dying person lives with, a close family member, friend or, if none of those is visiting, anyone else
  • To fulfil a legal obligation
  • For work purposes, or the provision of voluntary or charitable services
  • For the purposes of education or training
  • For the purposes of childcare provided by a registered provider
  • For the purposes of childcare for children under the age of 14 or vulnerable adults, when it is necessary for caring purposes
  • To provide emergency assistance
  • To enable one or more persons in the gathering to avoid injury or illness or to escape a risk of harm
  • To facilitate a house move
  • To provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person
  • To continue existing arrangements for access to, and contact between, parents and children where the children do not live in the same household as their parents, or one of their parents

As of 29 March, the stay at home rule has ended but people should stay local as much as possible – meaning avoiding travelling outside of your village, town or the part of a city where you live – and look to reduce the number of journeys you make overall. You should also work from home where possible.

There continue to be restrictions on international travel. Holidays are not a permitted reason to travel. Those seeking to leave the UK must complete an outbound declaration of travel form ahead of departure.

Reasons to leave your home and area include, but are not limited to:

  • work, where you cannot reasonably work from home
  • accessing education and for caring responsibilities
  • visiting those in your support bubble – or your childcare bubble for childcare
  • visiting hospital, GP and other medical appointments or visits where you have had an accident or are concerned about your health
  • buying goods or services that you need, but this should be within your local area wherever possible
  • outdoor exercise. This should be done locally wherever possible, but you can travel a short distance within your area to do so if necessary (for example, to access an open space)
  • attending the care and exercise of an animal, or veterinary services

You should follow all relevant transport guidance when making a journey on public transport. Try to plan your journey to avoid peak times wherever possible.

You must wear a face covering on public transport, taxis and private hire vehicles and in substantially enclosed areas of transport hubs in England (as well as other indoor premises).

You will be breaking the law if you fail to do so and could be fined. Some people do not have to wear a face covering including for age, health or disability reasons.

You cannot leave your home or the place where you are living for holidays or overnight stays unless you have a reasonable excuse for doing so. This means that holidays in the UK and abroad are not allowed.

This includes staying in a second home or caravan, if that is not your primary residence. This also includes staying with anyone who you don’t live with unless they’re in your support bubble.

You are allowed to stay overnight away from your home if you:

  • are visiting your support bubble
  • are unable to return to your main residence
  • need accommodation while moving house
  • need accommodation to attend a funeral or related commemorative event
  • require accommodation for work purposes or to provide voluntary services
  • are a child requiring accommodation for school or care
  • are homeless, seeking asylum, a vulnerable person seeking refuge, or if escaping harm (including domestic abuse)
  • are an elite athlete or their support staff or parent, if the athlete is under 18 and it is necessary to be outside of the home for training or competition

The next step of the government's roadmap (12 April) will allow UK overnight stays away from home, in self-contained accommodation.

As of 29 March, you are allowed to meet outside, either with one other household or within the 'rule of six', including in parks and private gardens. Outdoor sport facilities have also reopened.


You should continue to work from home unless you cannot reasonably do so.

Where people cannot work from home – for example, infrastructure, construction or manufacturing – they should continue to travel to their workplace.

Public sector employees working in essential services, including education settings, should continue to go into work where necessary.

The risk of transmission can be substantially reduced if Covid-secure guidelines are followed closely. Extra consideration should be given to those people at higher risk.

The rules on visiting care homes changed on 8 March to allow regular indoor visits for a single named visitor.

Visits to care homes can take place with arrangements such as substantial screens, visiting pods, or behind windows. No visits will be permitted in the event of an outbreak.

You should check the government guidance on visiting care homes during COVID-19 to find out how visits should be conducted. Residents cannot meet people indoors on a visit out (for example, to visit their relatives in the family home).

Hospitality venues cannot operate as a bar or restaurant; however, they can provide food and non-alcoholic drinks for takeaway (until 11pm), click-and-collect and drive-through. All food and drink (including alcohol) can continue to be provided by delivery.

In the next stage of the government's roadmap (12 April), restaurants and pub gardens will be allowed to serve customers sitting outdoors, including alcohol.

Support groups such as therapy groups (not to be confused with a support bubble) can continue to meet but are limited to 15 people in attendance.

As of 29 March, weddings and civil partnership ceremonies can be attended by up to six people in any circumstances, but must take place in COVID-19 secure venues or in public outdoor spaces.

Social distancing should be maintained between people who do not live together or share a support bubble.

Up to 20 people can attend a funeral within St Helens Crematorium chapel.

A maximum of 30 people are permitted to attend grave-side burial services, observing social distancing.

Interment of cremated remains or appointment to scatter cremated remains, and headstone ceremonies is now set at a maximum of 6 people.

Anyone working at these ceremonies or events are not included as part of the person limit.

A free webcasting service is available for ceremonies at St Helens Crematorium. Ask your funeral director for more details.


You can attend places of worship for a service. However, you must not mingle with anyone outside of your household or support bubble. You should maintain strict social distancing at all times.

You should follow the national guidance on the safe use of places of worship.

Yes, but only until 11pm. However, premises can open after this time for drive-through or delivery if you place an order by phone or online.

As of 29 March, outdoor sport facilities such as tennis and basketball courts have reopened, while formally organised outdoor sports can also restart. Indoor gyms and sports facilities remain closed.

Gyms and leisure centres are closed.

Go Active – the council’s health and fitness provider – is again offering online activity programmes via Zoom and Facebook Live, featuring classes such as yoga, inferno and Pilates – just search 'GoActiveSTH' on Facebook.

Free workouts, suitable for all ages and abilities, are also available for residents to do from the comfort of their own home through St Helens Sports Development’s social media.

Go Active members who pay via a monthly direct debit can be assured that payments will be automatically frozen. Annual memberships will also be extended to reflect the time lost due to closure.

If you live in England, you cannot travel overseas or within the UK, unless for work, education or other legally permitted reasons.

Overnight stays and holidays away from primary residences are not allowed - including holidays in the UK and abroad.

This includes staying in a second home or caravan, if you own one, or staying with anyone from outside your household/support bubble.

You can still move home. People outside your household or support bubble should not help with moving house unless absolutely necessary.

Estate and letting agents and removals firms can continue to work and people looking to move home can continue to undertake viewings.

Follow the national guidance on moving home safely, which includes advice on social distancing and wearing a face covering.

If you are clinically vulnerable, you could be at higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus. There is additional government advice for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus.

Shielding is being paused nationally from 1 April. Those who are clinically extremely vulnerable should not attend work, school, college or university until 31 March, and limit the time you spend outside the home. You should only go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential.

We are reminding residents that support is available through #StHelensTogether. 

There is an online service that clinically extremely vulnerable people can use to register for support. Support is available in accessing priority supermarket delivery slots, and other forms of supermarket deliveries, in collecting and delivering medication and for those who need support to manage their wellbeing and mental health.

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable and you need to register your needs by telephone, or you have an urgent need, the St Helens Together helpline number 01744 676767 remains in operation 7 days a week from 8am – 10pm, or email contactcares@sthelens.gov.uk.