Each UK nation has set out a roadmap out of lockdown with specific dates. Wales has now scrapped travel restrictions within its borders and England is about to bring back the “rule of six”.
Here are the full timetables for lifting COVID-19 restrictions in each UK nation:
There are four steps to easing England’s lockdown.
The prime minister hopes to be able to lift the majority of rules by 21 June, but this is dependent on cases, deaths and hospital admissions continuing to fall so the dates are the earliest any of the stated rules could be lifted.
There will be no regional tier systems – England will be treated as one in the easing of lockdown.
England’s school pupils returned to the classroom on 8 March and outdoor after-school sports and activities were also allowed to resume.
Socially distanced one-to-one meetings outdoors in public spaces are now allowed and care home residents are permitted a nominated visitor under certain conditions.
- The rule of six returns, along with new measures meaning two households (no more than six people) can meet outdoors, including in private gardens
- Football and cricket pitches, tennis and basketball courts, outdoor swimming pools, golf courses and sailing clubs are free to reopen
- Organised team sports can also resume outdoors
- The government will drop the stay-at-home message and will instead encourage people to stay local
- People will still have to work from home where possible and no overseas travel will be allowed, apart from a small list of exceptions
Step Two – 12 April
This is the earliest date on which shops, hairdressers, gyms, nail salons, libraries, and outdoor attractions such as theme parks will be allowed to reopen. But no indoor mixing of different households will be allowed.
- Outdoor hospitality can reopen, including pubs and restaurants – with the rule of six or a larger group from two households
- Customers will not have to buy a substantial meal to have an alcoholic drink and there will be no curfew but people will have to be seated when ordering and eating or drinking
- Self-catering holidays in the UK with your own household will be allowed
- Funerals of up to 30 people. Weddings and wakes of up to 15 people
Step three – 17 May:
- Outdoors, most social contact rules will be lifted, but gatherings of more than 30 will be illegal
- Indoors, the rule of six or a larger group of up to two households will be allowed
- Indoor hospitality – pubs, restaurants, cinemas, theatres, museums, galleries, concert halls, children play areas, hotels, B&Bs, indoor exercise classes – will be allowed
- Advice on social distancing between family and friends, including hugging, will be updated no later than 17 May
- Large indoor performances and sporting events with a capacity of 1,000 people will be allowed
- Outdoor large performances and sporting events will have a maximum capacity of 4,000 people or must only be half full, whichever is lower
- Bigger sports stadiums will be allowed 10,000 people or can only be a quarter full, whichever is lower
- Testing will be used to support these openings
- Weddings, wedding receptions, wakes, funerals and christenings will be allowed with 30 people.
Step four – 21 June:
- All legal limits on social contact removed
- Government hopes to reopen nightclubs and lift restrictions on large events such as festivals
- Testing could be used as a condition of entry
- Ministers hope to remove restrictions on weddings
Yet to be decided
There are a few rules and issues that have not yet been agreed and will be subject to review during the easing of lockdown.
1. The one-metre plus rule, mandatory facemasks and working from home
The government hopes to conclude a review of this before step four.
2. Whether you can use proof of having a COVID-19 vaccine to enter mass events
The government hopes to set out the conclusion of a review prior to step four on whether vaccine or test certificates could be used to reopen the rest of the economy.
3. International travel
The government has said this will not resume before 17 May following a review that will be completed by 12 April.
4. Major events
The government has said testing could be used to ensure people can safely attend large events.
Scots are now allowed to meet in bigger groups – up to four people from two households were given permission to meet outdoors from Friday, 12 March.
For children aged between 12 and 17, outdoor meetings are now limited to four people, but these can be from up to four households.
- Communal worship resumes, with a limit for services rising from 20 people to 50 people
- The stay-at-home order will be lifted and replaced with guidance to “stay local”, with the hope this will be in place for no more than three weeks
- The phased reopening of non-essential retail will begin
- Barbers and salons will be able to reopen, along with click-and-collect retail services, garden centres, car dealerships and homeware stores will also reopen
- More students will be able to return to face-to-face learning, particularly those in college, with those at risk of not finishing their courses the priority
- Scotland will come out of lockdown and into a “modified Level 3”
- Six people from up to three households can meet outside
- Travel restrictions across the country will end
- Non-essential shops, libraries, museums, galleries and gyms can reopen
- Cafes, restaurants and bars will be able to serve people outdoors, in groups of up to six from three different households, until 10pm
- Alcohol will be allowed and there will be no requirement for food to be served
- Hospitality venues can reopen until 8pm, but only for food and non-alcoholic drinks
- Scotland will move from Level 3 to Level 2
- Indoor socialising set to be allowed, with four people from two households permitted to gather
- Rules around outdoor mixing also set to be eased further
- Pubs will be allowed to reopen indoors
- Cinemas, amusement arcades and bingo halls will be able to reopen
- Outdoor contact sport for adults set to return
- Scotland will move to Level 1 at the start of the month, before dropping to Level 0 before the end of June
- First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said she cannot say when restrictions will be scrapped entirely.
- The stay-at-home order is lifted but people have been told to remain local
- Four people from two households can meet outdoors to socialise, including in gardens
- Outdoor sports facilities, including basketball courts, tennis courts, and golf course, can reopen and be used by four people from up to two households
- Indoor care home visits restart for nominated family members
- Hairdressers and barbers can reopen for appointments
- All primary pupils and those in qualifications years can return to schools
- Schools will have the option of bringing Year 10 and 12 learners back and “flexibility” to allow all other pupils to “check-in” with teachers on a limited number of days
- Non-essential retail will reopen gradually
- Restrictions will be lifted on what can be sold in shops which are currently open
- Garden centres will reopen
- The “stay local” rule is lifted
- Self-contained accommodation reopened, but Wales First Minister Mark Drakeford said the industry “should not be taking bookings from people who live outside Wales”.
- Libraries reopened
- All students return to face-to-face learning
- All “close contact services” reopen
- All non-essential retail reopens
Lockdown restrictions were introduced on 26 December and extended to 1 April by the Stormont Executive, with a review due on 18 March, though a planned easing of measures was announced two days earlier.
Thousands of primary school pupils in year groups P1 to P3 returned to face-to-face learning on 8 March, along with pre-schoolers and nursery children.
- Secondary school pupils in key exam years – year groups 12-14 – return, along with remaining primary pupils in P4 to P7
- Up to six people from no more than two households can meet outside in a private garden
- Golf courses will reopen
- 10 people from no more than two households will be allowed to take part in outdoor sporting activities
- Click and collect purchases will be allowed from garden centres and plant nurseries
- Stay-at-home order replaced with guidance to “stay local”
- Up to 10 people from no more than two households can meet in a private garden
- Click and collect services at all non-essential retail resume
- Outdoor sports training for sports clubs affiliated with recognised governing bodies will be permitted to resume, with no more than 15 participants in one training group. Indoor club facilities, apart from toilets, will have to remain shut
Decisions on moving between stages will be based on scientific and medical evidence, ministers have said.
All remaining restrictions on social contact could be lifted from 21 June, allowing for larger events to go ahead and nightclubs to reopen.
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