COVID-19 restrictions

On 22nd February 2021, the Prime Minister announced a plan called the 'roadmap out of lockdown' to begin easing the restrictions set out in the third national lockdown in England. Many businesses and activities have been closed and people have been required to stay at home.

This page is a broad summary of the expected next steps in England (other devolved nations of the United Kingdom have set their own plans). This covers the whole of England and it is not expected that local areas within England will have different arrangements and more information is available on the GOV.UK website.

From March 8th 2021

Schools and colleges will open to all pupils.
Rapid testing will be offered to secondary school and college pupils as well as teachers.
Higher education students on practical courses can also return.
Social contact:
People will be allowed to leave their homes to exercise or for recreation with their own household (or support bubble) or one other person from outside their 'bubble'
Care home residents will be allowed one regular visitor

From March 29th 2021

Social contact:
Up to six people from different households, or any number of people from two different households will be allowed to meet outside (including in a private garden).
Outdoor sports will resume including open air swimming pools.

From April 12th 2021

All retail will be allowed to open.
Personal care businesses (such as hair dressers and beauticians) will be allowed to reopen.
Recreation and activities, including hospitality:
Public buildings including libraries and community centres as well as most outdoor attractions (including zoos, theme parks, and drive in cinemas) can reopen.
Indoor gyms can reopen.
Self-contained accommodation such as campsites and holiday lets without shared indoor facilities can reopen.
Hospitality venues will be allowed to offer table service to customers outside.
The number of people allowed to attend weddings, receptions, and commemorative events such as wakes will rise from six to 15.

From May 17th 2021

New guidance on meeting friends and family will emphasise personal responsibility rather than government rules. The UK Government encourage individuals to exercise caution and consider the guidance on risks associated with COVID-19 and actions that can be taken to help keep people safe.

Social contact:
Up to six people from different households, or any number of people from two different households will be allowed to meet inside, including for overnight stays.
Outside, up to 30 people will be allowed to gather.
Recreation and activities, including hospitality:
Indoor entertainment and attractions can reopen with COVID-secure measures in place, including caps on attendance numbers depending on venue type.
Indoor hospitality venues can reopen, allowing groups of up to six people or two households to gather inside.
Universities will open to all students for face-to-face teaching.
Face coverings will no longer be mandatory for pupils in classrooms or communal areas in schools or colleges.
Care homes
Care home residents will be more easily able to make trips out of the home without needing to self-isolate upon return, and will be allowed up to five named visitors.

From July 19th 2021

Most legal restrictions to control COVID-19 have been lifted.

This means:
People are no longer required to stay 2 metres apart from people they do not live with and there are no longer limits on the number of people who can meet.
The Government is no longer instructing people to work from home if they can.
The requirement to wear face coverings in law has been lifted, although the Government recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport.
There are no longer limits on the number of people who can attend weddings, civil partnerships, funerals and other life events (including receptions and celebrations). There is no requirement for table service at life events, or restrictions on singing or dancing.