STEP two of England’s roadmap out of lockdown will begin tomorrow, which will see non-essential retail, hairdressers and pub beer gardens reopening.
The last time restrcitions were eased was on March 29, which saw the end of the ‘stay at home’ rule, outdoor sports allowed and outdoor gatherings under the rule of six (or two households) to take place.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday that the move to the second step of the road map was “fully justified by the data”.
There are still two steps remaining in the roadmap, which are dependant on cases and hospitalisations remaining low, as well as the vaccine rollout.
What you CAN do from April 12
Pubs, bars and restaurants
Pubs, bars, restaurants and other hospitality businesses will be able to open for outdoor service, with no requirement for a substantial meal to be served alongside alcohol, and no curfew. The requirement to eat and drink while seated will remain.
Indoor settings must only be visited alone or with household groups, with outdoor settings limited to either six people or two households.
Non-essential retail will reopen which includes clothing shops and this time changing rooms will be open.
Hairdressers and nail salons
You can finally say goodbye to those experimental lockdown hairstyles and enjoy some pampering at hairdressers, beauty and nail salons.
Gyms and spas
If you’ve missed the gym over the past few months, you’ll be pleased to hear you can get back to exercising indoors rather than in the rain as indoor leisure facilities such as gyms and spas will reopen.
Holidays away from home
Overnight stays away from home in England will be permitted and self-contained accommodation can also reopen, though must only be used by members of the same household or support bubble.
Libraries and community centres will reopen.
Theme parks and zoos
There’s good news for families as zoos, theme parks, drive-in cinemas and drive-in performances events can take place.
Parent and toddler groups
Parent and child groups of up to 15 people (not counting children aged under five years old) can restart indoors.
More visitors allowed in care homes
The number of care home visitors will increase to two per resident, and all children will be able to attend any indoor children’s activity, including sport, regardless of circumstance.
Weddings and funerals
Funerals can continue with up to 30 attendees. Weddings, outdoor receptions, and commemorative events including wakes will be able to take place with up to 15 attendees in premises that are permitted to open.
Before proceeding to this step, the government studied the latest data to assess the impact of the first step, which began when schools reopened on 8 March.
The assessment was based on four tests:
- The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully
- Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated.
- Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS.
- Our assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern.
What you CAN’T do from April 12
- People should continue to work from home where they can,and minimise domestic travel where they can.
- Although gyms and spas reopen from April 12, saunas and steam rooms won’t reopen until May 17.
- International holidays are still illegal.
- You won’t be able to meet up with anyone indoors not from your household until May 17 when it is hoped two households will be able to mix indoors overnight.
- If you don’t fancy meeting at a restaurant or pub for a drink outdoors, you’ll need to wait until May 17 when hospitality venues will reopen their doors to customers inside.
- And film fans will have to wait until May 17 when cinemas are expected to reopen.