Lockdown: Expert says ‘there’s an argument for speeding up’
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The next stage of easing lockdown measures is just days away, with non-essential shops permitted to reopen from April 12. Britons can also enjoy a meal outdoors with pubs and restaurants able to serve customers outside from Monday. With the lockdown steps slowly easing, some are wondering what this means for staying overnight with friends and family.
From March 29, the “stay home” order was replaced with “stay local”, meaning Britons can leave their homes for non-essential reasons.
Gatherings outside of up to six people or two households are permitted, in a return of the rule of six.
Groups can meet anywhere outside, including in gardens, and those not in households together should social distance.
Outdoor facilities like golf courses, basketball courts and tennis courts are also now open, with restaurants and pubs able to serve outdoors from April 12.
Read More: Spain: Benidorm expat shares what life was like in lockdown
Britons can also resume driving lessons from April 12 as the country begins to get back on track.
Despite these restrictions lifting, limits remain on socialising, indoor venues, and working from home.
Following the April 12 rule lifting, the next key date for restrictions relaxing is May 17.
But what does this mean for Britons who want to stay overnight with friends and family soon?
When can you meet indoors?
After April 12, the next date for rules to relax is May 17 – with updates on socialising, staying overnight and visiting hotels.
However, these dates are all subject to ongoing data reviews, with hospitalisations, Covid cases and the R-rate all under intense scrutiny at each stage.
On April 12 all shops are allowed to reopen, as well as hairdressers and beauty salons.
Restaurants and pubs can serve food and alcohol to customers outdoors, and gyms, spas, zoos and theme parks can reopen.
April 12 also sees the return of staycations, with members of the same household allowed to stay in self-catering accommodation.
However, Britons will have to wait until May 17 before they are allowed to meet indoors.
From May 17, two households or six people are permitted to meet indoors.
Also from this date, pubs, restaurants and other hospitality venues are allowed to seat customers indoors.
Hotels, BnBs and hostels can also reopen from May 17, and indoor venues like museums, theatres, cinemas and play areas can open their doors.
Finally, from June 21 all legal limits on social contact will be removed.
There will be no limits on funerals, weddings, and other life events – and nightclubs can open.
On the year anniversary of lockdown measures being introduced, Mr Johnson reflected with Cabinet ministers on “a very dark and difficult year”.
A No 10 spokesman said: “The PM began Cabinet by reflecting on what he said had been a very dark and difficult year for our country.
“The PM said that we mourn all those we have lost and send our deepest sympathies to their families, friends and loved ones.
“The PM said the last year had also shown the great strengths of the British public, which had demonstrated such resilience and fortitude, and had shown such willingness to work together for a common good.”
The Prime Minister and his Cabinet also were said to have paid tribute to the “extraordinary service” of NHS and social care workers, as well as those in the public sector.
He also praised the “absolutely astonishing achievement” of British scientists and businesses in developing a vaccine and delivering it to half the adult population within a year.
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