March 29, 2021 7.50 am This story is over 15 months old

Lockdown rules changed from March 29: What you need to know

The next step on the roadmap out of lockdown

The next phase of the Prime Minister’s roadmap out of coronavirus lockdown comes into action on Monday, March 29, with groups of six allowed to meet outdoors again.

As of Monday, social contact will be allowed in outdoor settings for groups of six people, or up to two households.

Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis courts and open-air swimming pools will be allowed to reopen, and formally organised outdoor sports can restart.

Weddings will also be allowed to take place, with attendances of up to six people.

The stay at home guidelines will also come to an end on March 29, though the government are still advising people to stay local even if it isn’t compulsory.

You can visit people from outside of the county from that date, but are not allowed to stay overnight or meet indoors.

Later in the week, from April 1, clinically vulnerable people will no longer need to shield themselves to stay safe from COVID-19.

Letters have been sent to all that the shielding rules concern, with updated guidance such as working from home, maintaining social distancing and keeping all social contact low.

Local councils and supermarkets will provide support for people shielding until March 31, and anyone who has already registered for priority access to shopping delivery slots will be able to access this until June 21.

These measures will complete stage one of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown, and the next phase will begin on April 12.

On this date, all shops, hairdressers and beauty salons will be allowed to reopen, and hospitality sectors will be able to serve food and drink to customers outdoors.

Gyms and spas will also be able to reopen, as well as theme parks, zoos and community centres.

Take a look at the full breakdown of the coronavirus lockdown roadmap here.

The roadmap will only be able to continue if the government’s safety criteria continues to be met, such as cases staying low, vaccinations progressing as planned and new variants not risking lives.

A vote to extend the Coronavirus Act for another six months is expected to pass through parliament on Thursday afternoon.

This means that government will be able to enforce COVID-19 rules until October, but does not mean that lockdown will be extended.

It is mandatory that the act is reviewed every six months, and allows for schemes such as furlough and statutory sick pay extension to legally continue, according to the government.