National lockdown and coronavirus business support

05 Jan 2021


Stay at home

We know this will have a significant impact on many people’s daily lives, but we must all continue to follow the rules. The new COVID-19 strain is spreading faster than the previous one, so everyone must stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives. You may only leave home if it is absolutely necessary. This includes for reasons such as to: 

  • Shop for necessities for you or for someone who is vulnerable.
  • Go to work, if you cannot work from home.
  • Exercise with people you live with or your support bubble (no more than once a day).
  • Get medical help or to avoid injury or the risk of harm, including domestic abuse.
  • Go to school or childcare provision, if eligible. 

Support and childcare bubbles

People who need more help can form support or childcare bubbles. However if you form a support bubble or a childcare bubble you must make sure that you follow the rules. You can find information about the rules for support and childcare bubbles on

Help for businesses

This morning the Chancellor announced one-off top-up grants for businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. These grants are worth up to £9,000 per property and are there to help businesses through lockdown. There is also a discretionary fund worth £594 million to support other businesses. 

Check the business support page on for more information. 

Schools and education 

Most children and students will learn remotely until February half term. However, there are some exceptions: 

  • Early years providers including nurseries and registered childminders can remain open during national lockdown.
  • Schools, alternative provision, special schools, and colleges will also remain open to vulnerable children and young people, and the children of critical workers.  
  • Children with at least one parent or carer who is listed as a critical worker can go to school or college if they need to. You can find the critical worker guidance on


Universities will allow students who are studying courses that require specific training to return for face-to-face learning. These students must isolate for 10 days when they return to university and be tested twice a week after that. 

All other university students should remain where they are, where possible, and work online until mid February.

See the going to school, college and university guidance on for more information about the changes.

Looking out for each other

This is a difficult time, and the new restrictions may leave people feeling lonely or isolated. This means that we need to look after ourselves as well as each other. 

It is important to keep in touch with people, especially those who live alone, and encourage your networks to do the same.  


Remember there is support available for people who need it. You can find information via the Every Mind Matters campaign