Pubs, shops and gyms will reopen from tomorrow as England moves into step two of the roadmap out of lockdown.
Announcing the changes last Monday, Boris Johnson said the lockdown relaxation was “fully justified” but urged the public not to be complacent.
The unlocking means a rush to beer gardens, as thirsty punters book tables for their first pub pints in months.
And those desperate to have their shaggy lockdown mops chopped will get the chance, as hairdressers and beauty salons open their doors once again.
The Prime Minister has said he doesn’t believe changes to the rollout of vaccines to under 30s in light of incredibly rare blood clots will affect the schedule for restrictions.
He said: “I don’t think that anything I have seen leads me to suppose that we will have to change the road map or deviate from the road map in any way.”
Here’s what you need to know about the changes to lockdown rules, and what you can and can’t do from Monday.
What can you do from Monday?
From April 12, the following will reopen:
- Non-essential retail
- Outdoor hospitality – including pub beer gardens
- Personal care premises such as hairdressers and nail salons
- Public buildings, including libraries and community centres
- Indoor leisure facilities such as gyms (but only for use by people on their own or in household groups)
- Most outdoor attractions, including 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
- Parent and child groups of up to 15 people (not counting children aged under five years old) can restart indoors.
- The number of care home visitors will also increase to two per resident.
- All children will be able to attend any indoor children’s activity, including sport – though soft play facilities will remain closed until step 3.
Will I still have to order a ‘substantial meal’ to get a drink in a beer garden?
No. Hospitality venues will be able to open for outdoor service, with no requirement for a substantial meal to be served alongside alcohol, and no curfew.
But the requirement to eat and drink while seated will remain – including when ordering.
And social contact rules will continue to apply, with outdoor gatherings still limited to 6 people or 2 households.
Will the rules on weddings and funerals change?
Weddings, outdoor receptions, and commemorative events including wakes will now be able to take place with up to 15 attendees.
The limit on attendees at a funeral will remain at 30.
What can you still not do?
You cannot have any indoor social gatherings with anyone not in your household or bubble. That will only be allowed from May 17 at the earliest.
Pubs, restaurants and other hospitality will still be outdoors and table-service only.
Overseas travel is still illegal, aside from a tiny number of exceptions.
Overnight stays are only available in self-contained accommodation – so holiday lets are OK, but hotels and B&Bs are still out.
Nightclubs, soft play, saunas and steam rooms are still out of action.
And aside from the Covid certification pilot schemes, in-person entertainment, such as sports events, theatre, comedy clubs and concerts are still yet to return.
What stage of the roadmap are we in – and what’s still to come?
The roadmap has four steps with dates attached – but each step will be guided by data rather than dates.
So the dates in the roadmap are “not before” dates, and could be subject to change if data is pointing the wrong way.
There will be a minimum of five weeks between each stage – four to see the impact of the changes and then seven days’ notice for businesses and citizens.
Lifting restrictions across England will happen uniformly at the same time – there is no return to the Tier system from before Christmas.
Step one, split across two dates in March, saw most schools reopen and the return of the ‘rule of six’ – where six people or two households can meet up outside.
From Monday we’ll be in Step two, with the changes as explained above.
Step three is pencilled for May 17, and should see most limits on outdoor gatherings unlocked.
Indoor mixing will be allowed again – but be subject to restrictions.
Overnight stays will be unlocked in step three, as will indoor hospitality.
And it’s hoped overseas travel will begin to be unlocked from May 17, subject to a ‘traffic lights’ system of quarantine and testing measures.
By step four – due after June 21, the government hopes to remove all legal limits on social contact – though some guidance on social distancing may remain.
And it’s hoped the remaining closed parts of the economy – like nightclubs, small gigs and large mass events – will start.