England will enter the next stage of its roadmap out of coronavirus lockdown on Monday, meaning non-essential retail and gyms can reopen, as well as pubs, bars and restaurants for outdoor service only.
The rules will come into play on Monday, April 12, allowing for the retail sector to open its doors for customers once again, less than two weeks after the latest lockdown easing on March 29, which meant outdoor socialising was allowed for up to six people.
Hospitality venues will be able to reopen as well, but only for outdoor service, with a full reopening planned for May 17 if COVID-19 cases continue to stay low and the vaccination programme keeps its course.
The rule of six does still remain for outdoor socialising, and people are still being asked not to meet indoors with anyone they don’t live with, unless they are part of a support bubble or legally exempt.
People are also still being asked to keep travel down to a minimum, though since March 29 it is no longer a legal requirement to stay local or at home.
The full list of new rules are:
- Hairdressers and nail salons can reopen
- Public buildings such as libraries and community centres can reopen
- Non-essential retail (clothes shops etc) will be able to return to business
- Self-contained accommodation will be able to reopen for overnight stays with your household or support bubble
- Weddings, wakes and other commemorative events will be allowed up to 15 people, including inside, but wedding receptions must be outdoors
- All childcare and supervised activities will be allowed indoors and outdoors for all children, this is also the case for parent and child groups
- Most outdoor attractions (zoos, theme parks, drive-in performances) will be able to reopen
- Care home residents will be able to have two named individuals for regular indoor visits (so long as they have a negative lateral flow test)
Lincolnshire Police’s assistant chief constable, Kerrin Wilson, said: “Lockdown has hit practically every aspect of life as we know it, and perhaps the hardest part has been not being able to connect with family and friends in person.
“The easing of restrictions will come as a great relief to many, and I hope the new rules, which afford us the chance to socialise safely as well as get back to doing some of the things we all took for granted, will contribute to a feeling of wellbeing for us all.
“While many of you will already be busy making plans, some of you may feel a sense of nervousness or worry about society opening back up, and we want to assure you that we are still here to protect you and enforce the rules when needed.
“The easing of restrictions does not mean that lockdown has lifted completely. It is a journey that we are all on, and to enable later restrictions to be lifted in June we must all do our bit to continue to follow the rules now.
Legal limits on the number of people allowed to gather at one time remain in place, social distancing must be maintained, and masks worn in public settings such as shops or public transport to keep yourself and everyone else safe. Let’s continue to be sensible and watch out for each other.”
Meanwhile, to help with keeping cases low, free rapid asymptomatic tests can be ordered at home. Here are the details.