All your coronavirus lockdown questions answered from car MOTs to parking fines

The continued spread of coronavirus has caused the UK to be put on lockdown – meaning Brits now have to adhere to a completely different lifestyle.

Restaurants, pubs and cafes have closed, and Brits are urged to stay indoors as much as they can.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the nation last night outlining new restrictions.

These included only leaving the house for a limited number of reasons including buying essential items.

Most people should work from home where possible, and people should only travel to work where “absolutely necessary”.

But unsurprisingly, there are still many unanswered questions about life under the new restrictions.

Here are your questions about the coronavirus UK lockdown answered, including questions about parking enforcement and sick pay.

Do I need to get my car MOT?

Many people will be wondering what to do if their MOT is due for their car.

Karen Rotberg, from BookMyGarage, explained: “Garages are permitted to stay open and MOTs are still a legal requirement in England, Scotland and Wales.

“Key workers will need to get to work and many people need to drive to the shops, so cars are still needed on the roads.

“Most of our garages are staying open, those that are temporarily closing have been put on a four week ‘holiday’ so are still accepting bookings but for after 4 weeks’ time.”

Who can still travel to work?

Under new Government restrictions, only those counted as “key workers” can travel to work.

Key workers are those who are counted as “critical to the COVID-19 response “ including those in in health and social care and in other key sectors” such as supermarket staff and journalists.

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You can see the full list of jobs counted as “key workers” in our guide.

Can those who can’t work still get paid?

Chancellor Rishi Sunk has said companies will receive grants to pay their workers 80% of their salaries, up to a limit of £2,500 a month.

If you are still employed but can’t currently work, the plan is you will still get wages.

Your employer will be able to access the grants by the end of April.

What about zero hours workers?

Those who work zero hours, or freelance, can claim Statutory Sick Pay, if they earn more than £118 a week on average.

Anyone not eligible to claim sick pay is able to claim Universal Credit and or contributory Employment and Support Allowance.

What shops will still be open?

In Mr Johnson’s most recent speech, he announced the closure of all shops selling non-essential items.

He mentioned electronics and clothing stores as an example, with pubs, cafes and restaurants already closing last week.

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Shops still permitted to stay one are supermarkets and other food shops, health shops, pharmacies, petrol stations, bicycle shops, home and hardware shops, laundrettes and dry cleaners, garages, pet shops, corner shops, newsagents, post offices and banks.

What are the rules for housing, construction and building maintenance workers?

Just after Mr Johnson’s speech, communities and housing secretary Robert Jenrick tweeted advice about this industry.

He said: “If you can work from home, do so. If you are working on site, you can continue to do so.

“But follow Public Health England guidance on social distancing.”

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However, Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove has said that jobs carried out at close quarters in someone’s home would not be appropriate.

When can I leave my home?

Mr Johnson outlined the very limited specific reasons you can leave your home.

They are if you are shopping for basic necessities, for one form of exercise a day, a medical need, to provide care or to help to a vulnerable person.

Will I get fined if I go outside?

Police now have the powers to fine you if you don’t follow the rules outlined by the Government.

Officials have said police can disperse gatherings and impose fines, starting at £30.

If advice is ignored, Ken Marsh, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, has said measures could “become more draconian towards the public”.

Can I go to a wedding or a funeral?

In Mr Johnson’s speech, he specifically said that weddings could not be attended.

However, if a member of your family have died you can attend.

The Government rules said: “The Government is stopping social events, including weddings, baptisms and other religious ceremonies. This will exclude funerals, which can be attended by immediate family."

Will my bins get collected?

Local councils will likely be making changes to their schedule due to Government advice.

There is a dedicated Government website where you can find out about your local council.

Use your postcode and you should be able to see any changes that are happening due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Are traffic wardens still handing out parking fines?

The answer to this depends on the authority employing the civil enforcement officer.

Traffic wardens are generally employed by your council.

Motorists are still banned from parking on double yellow lines, but in some residential areas, enforcement action will no longer be taken.

For example, Devon County Council has said that in order to help residents who have to park at home because they are working, enforcement on some roads will be reduced.

Camden Council has also said: “We will not be suspending parking enforcement as this would not provide protection for the offer we have put in place for essential workers, however we are scaling back enforcement to deal with dangerous and obstructive parking.”

So in general – don’t park on double yellows, don’t block anything, and check with your local council.

  • Coronavirus

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