New UK lockdown rules – latest government guidelines and upcoming changes

Jade Bremner
·3-min read
<p>Nightclubs are scheduled to reopen from 21 June in England, if all goes to plan.</p> (Getty Images)

Nightclubs are scheduled to reopen from 21 June in England, if all goes to plan.

(Getty Images)

Boris Johnson has announced England’s route out of lockdown with a four-point plan spread over four months, finishing with all restrictions being lifted by 21 June at the earliest, if all goes to plan.

Following a successful vaccination programme, with more than 17 million people and counting taking the jab, the government has outlined the further steps the country will take to see the gradual reopening of public spaces and services.

More businesses will be allowed to open at each five-week milestone, providing coronavirus data lines up with where it’s supposed to be, and infection rates are not likely to amount to surges in hospital admissions.

The government urges that its reopening plan will be “guided by data, not dates”. The below roadmap is a guideline, so be warned, key dates are subject to change.


8 March

• Face-to-face education will resume in schools and colleges (face masks are recommended for secondary school students, plus parents and teachers in primary schools).

• Two people from different households can meet outside socially, for meetings including “coffee on a bench”.

• Weddings with a total of six people can take place.

• One person at a time can visit a care home with PPE and a negative lateral flow test.

29 March

• Six people can meet outside or in their gardens with one other household.

• The official stay-at-home order will end, however, it will still be recommended that people try to stay close to home where possible.

• Outdoor childcare and children’s supervised activities can resume with up to 15 people.

• Outdoor sports clubs and outdoor organised sports can reopen and restart.

12 April

• Gyms can reopen.

• Retail businesses can open again, including charity shops, fashion outlets and all other all shops.

• Pubs and restaurants with outdoor space can welcome customers, the lifting of restrictions includes serving alcohol.

• “Close contact services" can open their doors, including hairdressers, spas and beauty services.

• Libraries and community centres can serve the public again.

• Theme parks can welcome customers again.

• Zoos can reopen.

• Drive-in cinemas can begin trading again.

• Weddings can happen with a total of 15 people.• Funerals can happen with a total of 30 people.

• Children can attend indoor play activities, and baby groups, with up to 15 parents.

• People can book UK domestic holidays away from home, provided they are in self-contained accommodation with members of the same household.

17 May

• Up to 30 people can meet together outdoors.

• Museums, theatres, cinemas and children's indoor play areas can open. Performances need to be at half capacity or a maximum of 1,000 people, outdoors the limit is 4,000 people. For large venues with 40,000 capacity or more, the limit of people is capped at 10,000.

• Pubs can reopen indoor seating.

• Two households of up to six people can meet indoors.

• Those in the same household can book accommodation including hotels, B&Bs and hostels for trips away from home.

• Restrictions on holding indoor sports classes will be removed, including dance studios.

• International leisure travel may start from 17 May (subject to review).

21 June

• Nightclubs can reopen.

• Weddings, funerals and other social gatherings can take place with any number of attendees.

• Other restrictions on social contact will be removed, however, there is no clear date on an end to working from home.

Know the current restrictions:

There is currently a stay at home order in the UK "to protect the NHS and save lives".

You may leave home to:

• Shop for basic needs.

• Meet a support bubble or childcare bubble.

• Go to work or provide charity services.

• Exercise outside with members of your household or support bubble or one other person (as long as you are two metres apart).

• For medical reasons - to visit the doctor or emergency dentist etc.

• Colleges and schools are open for the children of key workers.

Those who are caught meeting in groups could face fines of up to £800, and the organisers may be required to pay up to £10,000.

For the full law, see here.

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