The second round of Step 1 measures are now in place to ease lockdown restrictions, with changes made on Monday 29th March. If all goes well, we can expect Step 2 to come into play on Monday 12th April, with 17th May and 21st June pencilled in as the earliest possible dates for Steps 3 and 4. Here’s a run-down of the recent and forthcoming changes.
Step 1b – Monday 29th March
- Social contact. Outdoor gatherings, including in private gardens, of either 6 people (the Rule of 6) or 2 households will be allowed, making it easier for friends and families to meet outside.
- Business and activities. Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts, and open-air swimming pools, will be allowed to reopen, and people will be able to take part in formally organised outdoor sports.
- The “Stay at home” rule will end, but many restrictions will remain in place. People should continue to work from home where they can and minimise the number of journeys they make where possible, avoiding travel at the busiest times and routes. Travel abroad will continue to be prohibited, other than for a small number of permitted reasons. Holidays abroad will not be allowed.
Step 2 – Monday 12th April at the earliest
- Business and activities. Step 2 will see the opening of non-essential retail; personal care premises such as hairdressers and nail salons; and public buildings, including libraries and community centres. Indoor leisure facilities such as gyms will also reopen (but only for use by people on their own or in household groups), as will most outdoor attractions and settings including outdoor hospitality venues, zoos, theme parks, and drive-in cinemas. Self-contained accommodation such as campsites and holiday lets, where indoor facilities are not shared with other households, can also reopen.
- Hospitality venues. Pubs, restaurants and cafes will be allowed to serve people outdoors. There’ll be no need for customers to order a substantial meal with alcoholic drinks and no curfew, although customers must order, eat and drink while seated. Wider social contact rules will apply to prevent indoor mixing between different households.
- While funerals can continue with up to 30 mourners, the number of people able to attend weddings, receptions and commemorative events such as wakes will rise to 15.
For the latest information on the lockdown roadmap, please visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus.