Lockdown is the shutting down of all non-essential activities to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). It can include:

  • people being asked to work from home or stay at home if they cannot work remotely
  • closure of all non-essentials shops, pubs, bars, restaurants and hospitality
  • closure of gyms, leisure centres and local council services
  • travel restrictions on entering or leaving an area or country as well as travelling abroad
  • banning of mass gatherings such as sports or music events as well as restrictions on weddings and funerals
  • restrictions on mixing with other households, both inside and outside
  • curfews and early closures

There have been various national and local lockdowns applied in the different countries of the UK, with varying restrictions and for different time periods. Please see the latest guidance for each country of the UK for the latest restrictions:

The first national lockdown was introduced on 23 March 2020. This formed the basis for each nation’s stay at home guidance. Specific stay at home guidance for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland was available. The lockdown restrictions were lifted on different dates in each of the countries of the UK.

Stay at home should be written in sentence case in line with GOV.UK house style.

A second four-week lockdown was introduced in England only on Thursday 5 November 2020, ending on Wednesday 2 December 2020. More detail on the lockdown restrictions for England is available.

See Local lockdown and restrictions for more detailed information on the restrictions in each UK country’s local authority or local council areas.