AS pubs, hairdressers and shops finally open across England today – many people will look to the next stage of unlocking next month. April
AS pubs, hairdressers and shops finally open across England today – many people will look to the next stage of unlocking next month.
April 12 has seen non-essential shops, gyms, indoor swimming pools and shopping centres throw open their doors once again after months shut.
Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates…
Brits have been told they will be able to mix indoors from May 17 while following the rule of six[/caption]
Boris Johnson’s four-step plan will now see restrictions change on key dates over the coming months until the lockdown is expected to be completely lifted finally by June 21.
Under the first phase on March 8, schools reopened.
On March 29, the rule of six was reintroduced, allowing six people or less – or two households – to mix outdoors.
Today has seen shops, gyms, hairdressers and other non-essentials open across the nation. And pubs, restaurants, cafes can reopen and serve customers outside.
Punters queued up at midnight to get their first pints in, or get their hair snipped.
Finally on May 17, Brits will be able to meet inside – still following the rule of six or two household restriction.
But there are different rules in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, with each roadmap slightly different.
It comes as…
- Boris Johnson warned people to be responsible today as pubs, shops and restaurants opened for the first time in England in months
- People flocked to get their hair cut for the first time in weeks as salons reopened their doors from midnight
- Snow hit London and the South in a huge chill – which may put millions off going to the pub tonight
- Pubs without a beer garden can reopen to do takeaway drinks too
And after months of being told to stay at home, from today those keen for a weekend escape will be allowed domestic overnight stays with their household.
But hotels and some accommodation won’t open until May.
Indoor entertainment and attractions are also expected to open up on May 17 with Brits finally able to head to the pub and sit inside.
Thirsty punters will also not have to buy a substantial meal when they grab a pint with the existing rule set to be dropped – while there will be no curfew from today either.
Indoor exercise classes won’t also be allowed until May 17, and people are only allowed to work out on their own for now.
The PM and government scientific advisors warn the rules must be followed to minimise a possible rebound in Covid cases as lockdown restrictions ease.
Mr Johnson urged caution during the “major step forward”.
He said: “I’m sure it will be a huge relief for those business owners who have been closed for so long, and for everyone else it’s a chance to get back to doing some of the things we love and have missed.
“I urge everyone to continue to behave responsibly and remember ‘hands, face, space and fresh air’ to suppress Covid as we push on with our vaccination programme.”
Domestic overnight stays will be allowed from May 17[/caption]
Indoor exercise classes will also be able to start up again[/caption]
May 17 will also see a chance for Brits to finally be able to head to some entertainment venues with cinemas and museums allowed to open their doors.
Theatre and concert performances – along with sports events – will also start to allow 1,000 people, or 50% of the venue’s capacity – whichever is lower – to start again.
Pilot tests will also be run to figure out just how such large events will be able to take place, using tests and even Covid passports to let people back in.
Under the rule change in May, weddings, receptions, funerals, and commemorative events including wakes will be able to go ahead with 30 people.
It’s still not yet clear when Brits will be allowed to go on summer holidays again.
Last week Grant Shapps said people could finally book them, but there’s still not yet been an official date when they can restart.
It’s hoped that after May 17, foreign travel can resume again.
But anyone coming into Britain will likely have to present a negative test, adding hundreds of pounds to the costs of holidays.
When will holidays resume
- April 12 – self catered holiday homes can be let to single households
- April 12 – decision on foreign holidays to be announced
- May 17 – hotels reopen and holiday homes can be let to groups of up to six people from different households or groups from two households with no cap on size
- June 21 – holiday homes can be let to groups of all sizes
Weddings with less than 30 people will be able to take place[/caption]
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However, it has been warned that each step will only be followed if the country has successfully passed four tests: the continued vaccination of the population, that jabs are working, that infection rates are not threatening the NHS and there are no threatening new strains of the bug.
It is hoped the country’s 54 million adults will be offered a jab by the end of July with the most vulnerable having received both vaccine doses by May.
Scientists have also warned the summer freedoms might be forced to be capped by a fourth Covid wave.