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Summary of what you must do and what is open at medium risk alert level 2.

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First published:
18 December 2020
Last updated:

What you must do at alert level 2

At alert level 2 you must:

  • Wear a face covering (unless you have a reasonable excuse not to wear a face covering) in all indoor public places, including when not seated in a pub, café or restaurant.
  • Meet no more than 5 other people at a café, restaurant, pub or other public premises (unless with your household of a larger number). This applies to both outdoor and indoor areas of the premises.
  • Work from home if you can.
  • Self-isolate for 7 days if you test positive for COVID-19. You should take a Lateral Flow Test (LFT) on day 6 and day 7. If either LFT is positive, you should remain in isolation until 2 negative LFTs or after day 10, whichever is sooner.
  • If you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive and you are aged 18 or over and not fully vaccinated, you must also self-isolate for 10 days.
  • Not take part in an organised event of more than:
    • 30 people indoors
    • 500 people outdoors, this does not include those participating in a team sport event, meaning 500 spectators can be present  
  • All organised events must be organised by a responsible body and have a risk assessment.

At alert level 2 you should:

  • Follow guidance on limiting the number of people you meet who you do not live with.
  • ‘Flow before you go’. Take a lateral flow test if you don’t have symptoms before going out, especially when meeting others. If it is positive, do not go out and  take a PCR test within 24 hours.
  • If you meet people other than your household meet them outdoors wherever possible. If meetings indoors make sure it is well ventilated.

What can open at alert level 2

  • schools, colleges and childcare providers
  • higher education institutions (mix of in-person and remote learning)
  • licensed premises
  • retail
  • close contact services
  • hospitality
  • holiday accommodation
  • entertainment venues
  • visitor attractions
  • leisure and fitness facilities, including gyms and swimming pools
  • museums and galleries
  • cinemas
  • theatres and concert halls
  • places of worship
  • community centres
  • crematoriums
  • libraries and archive services
  • sport courts, golf courses
  • playgrounds and public parks
  • organised indoor activities (up to 30 people)
  • organised outdoor activities (up to 50 people)
  • weddings (ceremony limit set by venue)
  • wedding reception or wake (limits to be set by venues when social distancing is taken into account, also you should take a lateral flow test on the day of the event)
  • ice skating rinks
  • adult entertainment venues
  • sporting events (not open to the spectators)

What must be closed at alert level 2

  • nightclubs