Do Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland follow different lockdown rules to England?

12 May 2020, 17:22

Arlene Foster, Boris Johnson, Mark Drakeford and Nicola Sturgeon
Arlene Foster, Boris Johnson, Mark Drakeford and Nicola Sturgeon. Picture: PA

The UK's four nations aren't in agreement about the best way to manage the spread of COVID-19.

At the moment, the leaders of the four nations of the UK aren't agreeing on the best way to ease lockdown, with Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland going against Prime Minister Boris Johnson's word.

Using their devolved powers, First Ministers Arlene Foster, Mark Drakeford and Nicola Sturgeon have publicly gone against the PM's new "stay alert" message, going against his attempt to unify the UK's response to the virus.

At the current moment, the government's 50-page roadmap document which was released on May 11 only applies as advice for England, but how does the advice in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland differ?

Johnson has revealed his plan
Johnson has revealed his plan. Picture: Getty

Current advice for England

At the moment, England has the most relaxed measures when it comes to easing lockdown by a long way.

From Wednesday May 13th, people will be allowed to take an unlimited amount of outdoor exercise, as well as sunbathing or spending any amount of time in a local park, but you must only do so with members of your own household.

Driving to other destinations in England and playing sport is also permitted with members of your own household.

Meeting up with friends or family one at a time is also allowed, but not indoors and must still maintain social distancing or you could be fined.

The phased reopening of schools and shops is due to begin in June, followed by the hospitality industry in July.

Nicola Sturgeon
Nicola Sturgeon. Picture: Getty

Current advice for Scotland

Nicola Sturgeon has announced that people in Scotland can exercise outdoors as often and for as long as they want as long as they follow social distancing guidelines.

However, she also made it clear that all of the other measures mentioned by Boris Johnson only applied to England.

It was clarified by the First Minister that her extension on exercise time doesn't mean that the Scottish public may now sunbathe or have barbecues.

Mark Drakeford
Mark Drakeford. Picture: Getty

Current advice for Wales

Wales' First Minister Mark Drakeford has said that people in Wales will be allowed to exercise more than once a day from Monday May 11th.

Garden centres will be able to open with social distancing guidelines, and local authorities can begin planning how to safely open libraries and recycling centres.

However, he has indicated that Welsh schools will not open in June, as the Government hope will happen in England.

Arlene Foster
Arlene Foster. Picture: Getty

Current advice for Northern Ireland

DUP leader Arlene Foster said minor adjustments would be made to lockdown rules next week.

They are expected to include advising the public they can go out as much as they want for exercise, but following their disparagement of the "stay alert" slogan, it's likely they won't be following many of Boris' plans.

The coalition administration also agreed to recommend the wearing of face coverings in enclosed spaces where social distancing is difficult