Hugs with family and friends will be “restored” from Monday 17 May in England, alongside indoor socialising, as the UK government announced a further easing of restrictions.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed on Monday (10 May) the relaxation of rules for the next stage of the lockdown roadmap.
Changes from 17 May
Outdoor gatherings will be limited to 30 people and indoor gatherings will be limited to six people or two households (each household can include a support bubble, if eligible).
Indoor entertainment and attractions such as cinemas, theatres, concert halls, bowling alleys, casinos, amusement arcades, museums and children’s indoor play areas will be permitted to open with Covid-secure measures in place.
People will be able to attend indoor and outdoor events, including live performances, sporting events and business events. Attendance at these events will be 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 will be able to take place for all (this includes gym classes). This 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 will be open (including hotels and B&Bs). This can be used by groups of up to six or two households (each household can include a support bubble, if eligible).
Funeral attendance will 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 will be 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 will change, allowing up to five named visitors (two at any one time), provided visitors test negative for Covid-19.
All higher education students will be able to access in-person teaching.
Support groups and parent and child group gathering limits will increase to 30 people (not including under 5s)
There will no longer be a legal restriction or permitted reason required to travel internationally. There will be a traffic light system for international travel, and you must follow the rules when returning to England depending on whether you return from a red, amber or green list country.
Third of UK adults vaccinated
The government has said the latest data suggests that easing restrictions from 17 May is unlikely to risk a resurgence in infections, with Covid rates currently at their lowest level since September.
Hospital admissions are also continuing to decrease, or plateau at low levels in some areas, with levels similar to July last year.
The next phase of changes comes as latest figures show a third of UK adults are now fully vaccinated against coronavirus, with a total of 17,669,379 people having received both jabs – the equivalent of 33.5 per cent of all people aged 18 and over.
England and Northern Ireland are both estimated to have given two doses to 33.6 per cent of their adult population, slightly ahead of Wales at 33.4 per cent and Scotland 33.1 per cent.
More than 50 million vaccine doses have been administered in the UK as a whole and the government said it is on track to offer all adults a first dose by the end of July.
Mr Johnson will host a press conference on Monday (10 May) afternoon to confirm the further easing of restrictions.
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