The Prime Minister confirmed his plans to remove all remaining Covid-19 restrictions in England later this month, which will bring an end to mask-wearing and social distancing.
Mr Johnson confirmed in a Downing Street press conference on Monday (5 July) that Step 4 of the Government’s plan to ease lockdown will go ahead on 19 July, despite warning that the pandemic is "far from over".
Covid-19 cases are still rising “fairly rapidly” across the country and millions of Brits are still yet to be fully vaccinated.
Mr Johnson stressed that a final decision on the reopening of society will be taken next week, but it is expected that it will go ahead on the July date as planned.
But what are the current lockdown rules in place for social gatherings across the UK? Here’s what you need to know.
How many people can meet indoors?
In England, you can meet up indoors with friends and family you do not live with in either:
- a group of up to six from any number of households (children of all ages count towards the limit)
- a group of any size from up to two households (each household can include an existing support bubble, if eligible)
If you are eligible to form a support bubble, you and your bubble count as one household towards the limit of two households when meeting others indoors.
Gatherings above the limit of six people, or two households indoors, can only take place if they are covered by a legal exemption, such as:
- organised parent and child groups or support groups which can be attended by up to 30 people
- for the purposes of work or volunteering
- to provide care or assistance for disabled or vulnerable people, including shopping for essential items and accessing services on their behalf.
Limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings will be lifted iin the final stage of the roadmap, which is due to be 19 July.
In Scotland, people who live in level two areas can meet up to six people from three different households in private homes and indoor public places, such as a pub or restaurant, and can stay overnight.
Those who live in level one areas can meet up to six people from three different households in private homes, and up to eight people from three different households in an indoor public place.
In Level 0 areas, up to eight people from four different households can meet in private homes, and up to 10 people from four different households in an indoor public place.
Under 12s do not count towards the total number of people or households meeting outside, but they do count towards household numbers indoors.
Rules state you do not need to physically distance from family and friends in a private home.
It is expected that the whole of Scotland will move down to Level 0 on 19 July, meaning rules on social gatherings will be relaxed slightly.
In Wales, rules state that meeting inside private homes is not allowed, unless you are in a support bubble or extended household.
People can form an extended household with one other household, which allows you to spend time with those people inside your home or theirs, and have physical contact. You can also stay in each other’s homes and in holiday accommodation together.
A third household may join an extended household in limited circumstances, including if it is:
- a household with an adult living alone
- a household with a single responsible adult
- a household where you are 16 or 17 living alone or with others of the same age, with no adult
Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford said in a tweet on Monday (5 July) that the changes announced by Mr Johnson apply to England only, and any changes for Wales will be set out next week beased on the latest scientific data.
In Northern Ireland, up to six people from two households can meet in a private home and stay overnight. Children aged 12 and under do not count towards the total.
If a household has six or more members, they can visit another household, providing there are no more than 10 people indoors.
Households can also form a bubble with one other household, and the two in the bubble can be of any size.
However, indoor meetings between households in the bubble are limited to a maximum of 10 people, including children, at any one time. Up to six people from two households can stay together overnight.
Restrictions are due to be reviewed on 8 July.
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