As the roadmap to lockdown continues to progress much has changed already – and more is still to come.
Pubs and restaurants reopened for outdoor customers from April 12, along with non-essential retailers, hairdressers, gyms, indoor swimming pools and more besides.
It should be stressed that the rule changes are part of a gradual process and some restrictions remain in place.
They include the rules around social-distancing and people are only allowed to meet in groups of up to six people outdoors.
The next big step on the journey out of lockdown is expected take place from May 17 – the third stage of the Government’s roadmap.
It should be stressed that the easing plans are not set in stone though and are subject to the Government approving the planned changes, which will depend on the number of Covid-19 cases continuing to fall.
Here are all of the lockdown rules expected to change from May 17:
Changes to social contact
From May 17 at the earliest, changes are set to be made to rules around social contact and meeting other people.
The Government “will look to continue easing limits on seeing friends and family wherever possible, allowing people to decide on the appropriate level of risk for their circumstances”.
What this means is that most legal restrictions on meeting others outdoors will be lifted but gatherings of over 30 people will still remain illegal.
Meeting indoors will be allowed but the rule of six or two households will apply.
It’s hoped that domestic stays overnight with people not in your household or bubble will also be allowed.
Pubs and restaurants will welcome customers indoors
Although some pubs and restaurants have reopened, customers can only sit outside at the moment.
However from May 17 people will be allowed to enjoy drinks and meals inside the pub or restaurant. However you will have to be seated in order to do this.
There still will be no curfew and people will not need to have a substantial meal with alcoholic drinks.
Indoor entertainment venues can reopen
Places like museums, theatres, cinemas, and children’s play areas will be allowed to reopen from May 17.
As well as this any outdoor entertainment venues that still haven’t reopened will be allowed to do so from then.
This also means that indoor exercise classes can resume and hostels, hotels and B&Bs can also reopen.
Some larger events can take place
The Government has said “some larger performances and sporting events in indoor venues with a capacity of 1,000 people or half-full (whichever is a lower number), and in outdoor venues with a capacity of 4,000 people or half-full (whichever is a lower number)” can take place.
In the largest outdoor seated venues, where crowds can be spread out, up to 10,000 people will be allowed to attend.
This will be a huge boost for music venues and festivals as well as the sports industry.
Changes to limits on weddings, receptions, wakes and funerals
Those who are having events such as weddings, receptions, wakes and funerals will see changes from May 17.
Up to 30 people will be allowed to attend all of these and these restrictions also apply to other types of celebratory events including bar mitzvahs and christenings.
Review of social distancing
Reviews will be undertaken on social distancing at this time.
The Government’s information on its website states: “Finally, before step four begins, the Government will complete a review of social distancing and other long-term measures that have been put in place to cut transmission.
“This will inform decisions on the timing and circumstances under which the rules on one metre plus, the wearing of face coverings and other measures may be lifted.
“This will also inform guidance on working from home – which should continue wherever possible until this review is complete.”
People can go on holiday again
The Government previously said from May 17 that international travel could resume.
A traffic light system will be introduced which will see countries graded based on their Covid risk.
This list will be kept under review and passengers will need to take PCR tests before leaving the UK and on returning – even from low-risk countries.
The Government is expected to clarify more on international travel nearer the time.
When will the next stage of the roadmap be after this?
After May 17, the next stage of the roadmap will be from June 21.
This has been called stage or step four and the Government has said it hopes to be in a position to remove all legal limits on social contact.
None of this has been confirmed however and won’t be confirmed until nearer the time.
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