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This is everything you can do from May 17 as Boris Johnson announces next stage of lockdown easing



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Boris Johnson has today confirmed a further easing of lockdown measures in England from next week as the country continues on its 'roadmap to freedom'.

Monday, May 17 will mark the start of step three of the Prime Minister's plan to cautiously lift Covid restrictions based on data, not dates. So what do we have to look forward to from Monday?

There will be no need for people to find creative ways around the no hugging rule, such as this one by Gravesend dad Thomas Ewing. Picture: SWNS/Thomas Ewing
There will be no need for people to find creative ways around the no hugging rule, such as this one by Gravesend dad Thomas Ewing. Picture: SWNS/Thomas Ewing

Meeting other people

More indoor mixing and hugging loved ones will be permitted once more.

The move to allow people to hug one another was hinted at on Sunday when Cabinet Minister Michael Gove told Sky News that “intimate contact between friends and family is something we want to see restored”.

But people will be urged to remain cautious about the risks that come with close personal contact and wider social distancing rules will remain in place in adult social care, medical, retail, hospitality and business settings.

People will be allowed to meet in groups of under 30 outdoors. And indoors, the rule of six still applies or the limit of two households.

The government has said it will be up to individuals to decide what level of risk they want to take according to their situation. Gatherings of 30 or more people are still illegal.

Customers will once again be allowed to eat indoors
Customers will once again be allowed to eat indoors

No more shivering in beer gardens

From next week, braving the wind and rain to have a meal out will be a thing of the past as indoor hospitality will reopen.

Table service will still be in place in pubs, cafes and restaurants to avoid queuing at the bar.

Pub-goers will also continue to be free to have a pint without having to buy a substantial meal.

There will be no 10pm curfews, as was introduced by the government in September last year, to the dismay of many in the industry.

Cinemas are preparing to reopen. Stock image
Cinemas are preparing to reopen. Stock image

Opening up entertainment

Indoor locations such as cinemas can reopen.

Film fans will be eager to return to watch the latest releases on the big screen and several cinema chains have already revealed what they are planning to show.

May 17 will also herald a return to theatres and indoor sporting arenas, with a maximum capacity of 1,000 people.

There will be a staggered reopening of theatres from next week with a number of performances lined up on stages across the county.

Some international travel is to resume. Stock image
Some international travel is to resume. Stock image

Holidays and travel

Hotels, hostels and B&Bs in England will be allowed to take group bookings, meaning people can more easily plan domestic holidays.

The Prime Minister has previously announced that Britons will be allowed to travel to green list countries without having to quarantine, providing they take one post-arrival test.

Portugal, Gibraltar, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Brunei, Iceland and the Faroe Islands – plus several small remote islands which are British Overseas Territories are currently on this list.

However, entry to Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Brunei and the Faroe Islands is severely restricted.

Indoor soft play centres will be able to reopen. Stock image
Indoor soft play centres will be able to reopen. Stock image

Soft play centres

They have been among the hardest hit by the pandemic, so owners of soft play centres, not to mention a lot of parents, are looking forward to May 17.

The indoor venues will be allowed to reopen, although social distancing will still have to be adhered to.

Weddings, funerals and care homes

Up to 30 people will be able to join together for weddings, receptions, funerals, wakes and religious ceremonies such as bar mitzvahs and christenings.

The cap on the numbers attending funerals will also be lifte, in line with how many people can be safely accommodated.

Care home visiting will be eased further with residents able to have up to five named visitors and greater freedoms to make low risk visits out of the home.

Organisers of events such as Neverworld, pictured, have announced scaled down versions. Picture: Kate Darkins
Organisers of events such as Neverworld, pictured, have announced scaled down versions. Picture: Kate Darkins

Larger outdoor events and festivals

Outdoor arenas will be able to host live events with a maximum number of 4,000 attendees.

Large outdoor seated venues, where crowds can be spread out, can welcome up to a limit of 10,000 people.

Organisers of some of the biggest events in England have announced scaled down versions for 2021.

Lockdown rules could ease again from June 21
Lockdown rules could ease again from June 21

What is happening next?

Before the beginning of stage four of the lockdown roadmap, the government plans to conduct a review of long-term measures put in place to cut transmission.

This review will determine when measures such as social distancing, face mask wearing and working from home where possible will be lifted.

If cases remain low, all limits on social contact could end as early as June 21 and venues such as nightclubs could be allowed to reopen.



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