The National Lockdown restrictions are gradually being lifted in accordance with the Road Map published by the Government on 22 February (See announcement below). The first change (Step 1A: schools reopening and some additional options for meeting people) applied from 8 March. The current and future steps are shown below. New Regulations are in force from 29 March (see Quick Links)
In operation from 17 May
In operation from 17 May
You should continue to work from home if you can. When travelling within the UK, you should aim to do so safely and plan your journey in advance.
- Gathering limits have been eased. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 30 people and indoor gatherings are limited to 6 people or 2 households (each household can include a support bubble, if eligible).
- New guidance on meeting friends and family emphasises personal responsibility rather than government rules. Instead of instructing you to stay 2m apart from anyone you don’t live with, you are encouraged to exercise caution and consider the guidance on risks associated with COVID-19 and actions you can take to help keep you and your loved ones safe. Remember that the risks of close contact may be greater for some people than others and in some settings and circumstances, there will be specific guidance that you will need to follow even when you are with friends and family.
- Indoor entertainment and attractions such as cinemas, theatres, concert halls, bowling alleys, casinos, amusement arcades, museums and children’s indoor play areas are permitted to open with COVID-secure measures in place.
- People can attend indoor and outdoor events, including live performances, sporting events and business events. Attendance at these events is capped according to venue type, and attendees should follow the COVID-secure measures set out by those venues.
- Indoor hospitality venues such as restaurants, pubs, bars and cafes can reopen.
- Organised indoor sport can take place for all. This includes gym classes. It must be organised by a business, charity or public body and the organiser must take reasonable measures to reduce the risk of transmission.
- All holiday accommodation can open, including hotels and B&Bs. This can be used by groups of up to 6 or 2 households (each household can include a support bubble, if eligible).
- Funeral attendance is no longer be limited to 30 people, but will be determined by how many people the COVID-secure venue can safely accommodate with social distancing. Limits at weddings, wakes and other commemorative events have been increased to 30 people. Other significant life events, such as bar/bat mitzvahs and christenings, will also be able to take place with 30 people.
- The rules for care home residents visiting out and receiving visitors have changed, allowing up to five named visitors (two at any one time), provided visitors test negative for COVID-19.
- All higher education students are able to access in-person teaching.
- Support groups and parent and child group gathering limits have been increased to 30 people (not including under 5s)
- There is no longer a legal restriction or permitted reason required to travel internationally. A traffic light system for international travel has been introduced, and you must follow the rules when returning to England depending on whether you return from a red, amber or green list country.
Planned – not before 21 June
By Step 4 which will take place no earlier than 21 June, the government hopes to be in a position to remove all legal limits on social contact.
Business, activities and events
We hope to reopen remaining premises, including nightclubs, and ease the restrictions on large events and performances that apply in Step 3. This will be subject to the results of a scientific Events Research Programme to test the outcome of certain pilot events through the spring and summer, where we will trial the use of testing and other techniques to cut the risk of infection. The same Events Research Programme will guide decisions on whether all limits can be removed on weddings and other life events.
As we move through each of these phases in the roadmap, we must all remember that COVID-19 remains a part of our lives. We are going to have to keep living our lives differently to keep ourselves and others safe. We must carry on with ‘hands, face, space’. Comply with the COVID-Secure measures that remain in place. Meet outdoors when we can and keep letting fresh air in. Get tested when needed. Get vaccinated when offered. If we all continue to play our part, we will be that bit closer to a future that is more familiar.
Was in operation from 29 March to 11 April
Main changes in effect
Many restrictions remain in place. You must not socialise indoors with anyone you do not live with or have formed a support bubble with. You should continue to work from home if you can and minimise the number of journeys you make where possible.
- you can meet outdoors either in a group of 6 (from any number of households), or in a group of any size from up to 2 households (a household can include an existing support bubble, if eligible)
- you can take part in formally organised outdoor sports with any number of people (outdoor sports venues and facilities will be able to reopen)
- childcare and supervised activities are allowed outdoors for all children
- formally organised parent and child groups can take place outdoors for up to 15 attendees. Children under 5 will not be counted in this number
Was in operation from 12 April to 16 May
From 12 April:
- non-essential retail can reopen
- personal care services such as hairdressers and nail salons can reopen, including those provided from a mobile setting
- public buildings such as libraries and community centres can reopen
- outdoor hospitality venues can reopen, with table service only
- most outdoor attractions including zoos, theme parks, and drive-in performances (such as cinemas and concerts) can reopen
- some smaller outdoor events such as fetes, literary fairs, and fairgrounds can take place
- indoor leisure and sports facilities can reopen for individual exercise, or exercise with your household or support bubble
- all childcare and supervised activities are allowed indoors (as well as outdoors) for all children. Parent and child groups can take place indoors (as well as outdoors) for up to 15 people (children under 5 will not be counted in this number)
- weddings, civil partnership ceremonies, wakes and other commemorative events can take place for up to 15 people (anyone working is not included in this limit), including in indoor venues that are permitted to open or where an exemption applies. Wedding receptions can also take place for up to 15 people, but must take place outdoors, not including private gardens
- self-contained accommodation can stay open for overnight stays in England with your household or support bubble
- care home residents will be able to nominate two named individuals for regular indoor visits (following a rapid lateral flow test)
- you should continue to work from home if you can and minimise the amount that you travel where possible