What’s the roadmap for lifting lockdown?

Lockdown restrictions in England are being eased on Monday.

Wales is lifting some Covid restrictions on Saturday, while Scotland and Northern Ireland have also started relaxing their rules.

So, what can you do now?

How are rules changing on 29 March in England?

  • People will be allowed to meet outside – including in private gardens – in groups of up to six, or as two households (with social distancing)
  • The stay-at-home rule is ending, although the government is urging people to stay local as much as possible; holidays away from home are still not allowed
  • Outdoor sport facilities will reopen, including golf courses, tennis and basketball courts, and outdoor swimming areas
  • Formally organised outdoor sports can restart
  • Weddings can take place, attended by up to six people
Chart showing lockdown rules from 29 March

Stage two (no earlier than 12 April):

  • All shops allowed to open, along with close-contact services, including hairdressers and beauty salons
  • Restaurants and pubs allowed to serve food and alcohol to customers sitting outdoors
  • Gyms and spas can reopen, as can zoos, theme parks, libraries and community centres
  • Members of the same household can take a holiday in England in self-contained accommodation
  • Weddings attended by up to 15 people can take place
A waitress serving food in a pub garden
It’s hoped pubs will be able to serve outdoors in England from 12 April

Stage three (no earlier than 17 May):

  • People can meet in groups of up to 30 outdoors
  • Six people or two households can meet indoors
  • Pubs, restaurants and other hospitality venues can seat customers indoors
  • Up to 30 people can attend weddings or other life events, like christenings
  • Remaining outdoor entertainment, such as outdoor theatres and cinemas can open
  • Indoor entertainment such as museums, theatres, cinemas and children’s play areas can open
  • Performances and large events can restart, but with limits on audience numbers
  • Hotels, hostels and B&Bs can reopen
  • International leisure travel may resume
  • Adult indoor group sports and exercise classes can restart

Stage four (no earlier than 21 June):

  • All legal limits on social contact will be removed
  • No legal limits on the number of people who can attend weddings, funerals and other life events
  • Nightclubs will be allowed to reopen

What are the four tests for easing restrictions?

  • The coronavirus vaccine programme continues to go to plan
  • Vaccines are sufficiently reducing the number of people dying or needing hospital treatment
  • Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospital admissions
  • New coronavirus variants do not fundamentally change the risk of lifting restrictions

What are the latest changes in Wales?

From 27 March:

  • All travel restrictions are lifted within the country – residents can travel wherever they like within Welsh borders
  • Six people from two different households (not counting children under 11) can meet and exercise outdoors and in private gardens
  • Organised outdoor activities and sports for children and under-18s can resume
  • Limited opening of outdoor areas of some historic places and gardens
  • Libraries and archives can reopen
  • Self-contained holiday accommodation, including hotels with en-suite facilities and room service, can open to people from the same household or support bubble. But non-essential travel to and from other UK nations will be banned for at least two weeks

From 12 April at the earliest:

  • All pupils and students return to school, college and other education
  • All shops and close-contact services can open
  • The ban on travelling in and out of Wales ends

On 22 April, ministers will consider whether to reopen gyms and outdoor hospitality. There are no plans as yet to reopen indoor hospitality.

How are lockdown rules changing in Scotland?

Outdoor mixing between four people from up to two households is already allowed, along with outdoor non-contact sports and organised group exercise.

Communal worship is also now allowed with up to 50 attending (if social distancing permits).

More changes are planned in the coming weeks:

Outdoor non-contact sports can now take place in Scotland

From 2 April:

  • Stay at home rules become “stay local”

From 5 April:

  • At least four people from two households can meet outside
  • Hairdressers and barbers (but not mobile services) can reopen for pre-booked appointments
  • More shops can reopen and non-essential click-and-collect can resume
  • Outdoors non-contact group sports for 12 to 17-year-olds can resume

12-19 April:

  • All pupils back at school full-time

From 26 April:

  • Scotland will return to the “levels” system of local restrictions, with the whole country in level three “if the data allows”
  • Travel within mainland Scotland allowed
  • Up to six people from up to three households can socialise outdoors (six 12 to 17-year-olds can meet socially from six households outdoors)
  • Up to four people from two households can socialise indoors in a public place, such as a cafe or restaurant, but alcohol can’t be served
  • All shops and close-contact services like nail salons can reopen
  • Cafes, pubs and restaurants can open until 20:00 indoors (no alcohol) and 22:00 outdoors (alcohol permitted); takeaway food can be collected indoors
  • Gyms can open for individual exercise
  • Indoor attractions and public buildings such as galleries, museums and libraries can open
  • Non-essential work in other people’s homes can take place
  • Driving lessons and tests can take place
  • Funerals and weddings including post-funeral events and receptions can take place with up to 50 people (no alcohol)
  • Tourist accommodation can open with restrictions in place

From 17 May:

  • All areas of Scotland in level three move to level two
  • Up to four people from two households can socialise indoors in a private home or public space
  • Hospitality venues return to “greater normality”, possibly serving alcohol indoors until 22:30. Customers may be asked to book two-hour slots. Alcohol can be served outdoors until 22:00
  • Outdoor adult contact sport and indoor group exercise can restart
  • Cinemas, amusement arcades and bingo halls can reopen
  • Small outdoor and indoor events can resume, with restrictions
  • Face-to-face support services can resume

Early June:

  • All areas of Scotland in level two move to level one
  • Up to six people from up to three households can socialise indoors
  • Up to eight people from three households can socialise outdoors. Eight 12 to 17-year-olds from eight households can meet socially outdoors
  • Hospitality can remain open until 23:00
  • Indoor non-contact sport can take place

Late June:

  • All areas of Scotland in level one move to level zero

How are lockdown rules changing in Northern Ireland?

Northern Ireland is currently under lockdown, but restrictions will begin to ease next month.

From 1 April:

  • People can meet for exercise in groups of up to 10 from two households
  • Golf and other outdoor sporting activities can resume (although clubhouses and sports facilities must stay closed)
  • Six people from two households can meet in a private garden
  • Garden centres can operate click-and-collect services

From 12 April:

  • Remaining school year groups 8-11 return (Years 1-3, 4-7 and 12-14 have already returned)
  • Stay-at-home message relaxed
  • All other non-essential retail can operate click-and-collect
  • Sports training with up to 15 people can resume
  • Up to 10 people from two households can meet in a private garden

Read the current lockdown rules:

Source: BBC