HALF of Brits don’t understand the current coronavirus lockdown rules as the UK continues to transition to a new normal.
Researchers working on University College London’s Covid-19 social study found that people know less about the rules now than they did at the start of the pandemic in March.
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In England 45 per cent of people reported having a broad understanding of the rules compared to 90 per cent across the UK during the strictest lockdown period.
This is while levels of understanding in Scotland and Wales have fallen, sitting at 75 per cent and 61 per cent respectively.
Complete understanding has also dropped with just 14 per cent of adults in England saying they fully understand the rules, this is 18 per cent in Wales and 27 per cent in Scotland.
The study was launched a week before lockdown by Nuffield Foundation, Wellcome and UK Research.
The study has had over 70,000 participants in the last 19 weeks.
Lead author, Dr Daisy Fancourt (UCL Epidemiology & Health Care) said: “Our study shows that as lockdown measures have eased at different rates in each nation of the UK, levels of understanding around what is and isn’t permissible have dropped, especially amongst younger adults.
“This could possibly reflect difficulties in applying the rules to more complex life scenarios amongst younger adults, or may be reflective of the different amounts of time spent following the news on Covid-19 amongst different age groups.
“The general drop-off in understanding could be due to unclear messaging from the government, or a reduction in interest and engagement from people, especially with the cessation of the daily Downing Street coronavirus briefing in late June.”
But what should you still avoid doing? Here are the four things you still can’t do
1. Indoor socialising
The government guidelines state that you should not be socialising indoors with more than two households.
It highlights that anyone in your support bubble counts as one household.
This rule also applies when you are eating out or going to the pub.
From midnight on July 30 members of different households are now outlawed from meeting indoors in parts of northern England.
The affected areas include all of 2.8 million residents of Greater Manchester, as well as the Lancashire towns of Blackburn, Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle and Rossendelle.
And in Yorkshire, Bradford, Calderdale and Kirklees were also hit. Leicester was also included in the ban, but previous more severe restrictions there will be lifted so pubs and restaurants can open.
The Department of Health confirmed it applies to all indoor settings – so it means although pubs and restaurants will remain open, two households cannot meet there.
The hotspots were slapped with the special measure as part of the government’s strategy to use rolling localised lockdowns to try avoid a wider national second lockdown.
2. Outdoor socialising
Guidelines state that you can only socialise outside in groups of six people or less.
“Gatherings larger than six should only take place if everyone is exclusively from two households or support bubbles”, the guidelines state.
You should also not interact socially with anyone outside the group you are spending time with – even if you know them.
3. No parties
The rules state that you should still not hold parties or large gatherings where it is difficult to maintain social distancing.
The government said that gatherings of over 30 are still now allowed.
The government pointed out that you should still not attend if it is organised by a business or organisation that has implemented strict Covid-19 rules.
4. Check the local area
If you are unsure of the rules and regulations in your area then the government lists all localised restrictions here.
You should always check before you travel as you may arrive at a city or town where residents from outside the area not allowed to enter.
In most parts of the country shops, restaurants, bars and hair salons are open but in some places that have seen high case numbers, restrictions are still in place.
On July 30 millions of Brits across Greater Manchester, East Lancashire and West Yorkshire were last night banned from meeting up indoors as ministers scrambled to stop Covid-19 “bubbling up”.
The orders came as England was hit with 846 new positive cases – the highest number in 32 days – adding to fears the country is facing a second wave of the virus.
What can I do?
When it comes to the things you can actually do the government has relaxed rules on grandparents seeing their grandchildren.
Many families struggled with childcare at the beginning of lockdown and the introduction of social bubbles has allowed grandparents to spend quality time with their families.
The use of a social bubble also means you don’t have to adhere to social distancing and can hug the other person.
The government guidance states: “People from two different households can meet indoors, which enables you to spend time with your grandchildren.
“At this time, we still advise that people from different households avoid close contact so childcare should only be provided if it is possible to socially distance from your grandchildren.
“If you have formed a support bubble with your grandchildren’s household, which is allowed if either you or they live in a ‘single adult household’, then there can be close contact and social distancing is not necessary.”
The guidance does however state that the social distancing policy is being kept under review.
When it comes to older children parents are also now permitted to send their children to youth clubs but have been advised to make sure their children understand hand hygiene and do their best to implement social distancing.
The use of face masks and coverings is also now mandatory in supermarkets, shops and on public transport.
You may also be required to wear a mask in health care settings or in places like hairdressers.