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Covid Restrictions: What Is Changing In England This Week?

beer garden

Lockdown restrictions in England are lifting further this week, allowing non-essential retail, hairdressers, gyms and pub beer gardens to reopen.

– What is changing in England from Monday?

From April 12 non-essential shops, hairdressers, nail salons, libraries and community centres and outdoor hospitality venues such as beer gardens will be allowed to reopen across England.

Most outdoor attractions such as zoos and theme parks can reopen, although wider social distancing rules will still apply to prevent indoor mixing between different households.

Coronavirus
Legoland model makers Nicola Parker (right) and Elliott Ayton-Smith clean and add bricks to a welcome sign at the Legoland Windsor Resort, as they prepare to welcome back visitors (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Indoor leisure facilities such as gyms and swimming pools will also be opened, but for use by people on their own or in household groups.

Overnight stays away from home in England will be permitted and self-contained accommodation can also reopen, but these must only be used by members of the same household or support bubble.

Staff at Clapham Leisure Centre in south London ready the gym facilities for reopening
Staff at Clapham Leisure Centre in south London ready the gym facilities as they prepare for reopening on April 12 (Yui Mok/PA)

– Are any other restrictions easing?

Care home residents will also be allowed a second regular indoor visitor with infants and children not counted as one of the two – meaning care home residents in England will be allowed to see small bubbles of loved ones for the first time in months.

Funerals can continue with up to 30 people, and the numbers able to attend weddings, receptions and commemorative events such as wakes will rise from six to 15.

Parent and child groups of up to 15 people, not counting children aged under five years old, can restart indoors.

– Will some restrictions remain in place?

Unfortunately there are still a fair number of restrictions in England, most notably that people are still not allowed to socialise indoors outside their households or support bubbles.

Outdoor gatherings must still be limited to six people or two households and people should continue to work from home where they can, and minimise domestic travel where they can.

International holidays are still illegal.

Empty check in desks at Heathrow Terminal 5
International travel for leisure purposes is still illegal from April 12 (Steve Parsons/PA)

– When will more restrictions be eased?

According to the Government’s road map, from no earlier than May 17, most social contact rules outside will be lifted – although gatherings of more than 30 will remain illegal.

Indoors, the rule of six or two households will apply – although the Government has said it will keep under review whether it is safe to increase this.

Indoor hospitality, entertainment venues such as cinemas and soft play areas, the rest of the accommodation sector, and indoor adult group sports and exercise classes will also reopen.

Limited crowds will also be allowed at sporting events and larger performances.

All remaining restrictions on social contact could be lifted from June 21, allowing for larger events to go ahead and nightclubs to reopen.

Josie Clarke
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