Changes on 17 May:
As part of Step 3 the government has continued easing limits on seeing friends and family wherever possible, allowing people to decide on the appropriate level of risk for their circumstances.
This means that most legal restrictions on meeting others outdoors has be lifted – although gatherings of over 30 people has remained illegal. Indoors, the Rule of 6 or 2 households will apply and will be kept under review.
New guidance on meeting friends and family emphasises personal responsibility rather than government rules. Instead of instructing you to stay 2m apart from anyone you don’t live with, you are encouraged to exercise caution and consider the guidance on risks associated with COVID-19, and review the actions you can take to help keep you and your loved ones safe. The risks of close contact may be greater for some people than others and in some settings and circumstances, there will be specific guidance that you will need to follow even when you are with friends and family.
Business and activities
Most businesses in all but the highest risk sectors will be able to reopen. In all sectors, COVID-Secure guidance will remain in place and businesses may not cater for groups bigger than the legal limits. Indoor hospitality will reopen – and as in Step 2, venues will not have to serve a substantial meal with alcoholic drinks; nor will there be a curfew. Customers will, however, have to order, eat and drink while seated.
Indoor areas at hospitality venues (cafes, restaurants, bars, pubs, social clubs, including members’ clubs) can reopen. At any premises serving alcohol, customers will be required to order, be served and eat/drink while seated (“table service”). Venues are prohibited from providing smoking equipment such as shisha pipes, for use on the premises.
Indoor entertainment venues such as bingo halls, bowling alleys, and casinos may also reopen, as can indoor parts of outdoor attractions such as theme parks and animal attractions.
Outdoor and indoor performance venues such as cinemas and theatres are also permitted to reopen.
Businesses eligible to host childcare and supervised activities for children are able to host these activities (including sport) for all children, regardless of circumstances. Indoor play centres and areas may also reopen.
Healthcare and public services
The NHS and medical services remain open, including:
- dental services
- audiology services
- other medical or health services, including services relating to mental health
The NHS continues to carry out urgent and non-urgent services safely. It is vital anyone who thinks they need any kind of medical care comes forward and gets help.
The majority of public services will continue. These include:
- Jobcentre Plus sites
- courts and probation services
- civil registrations offices
- passport and visa services
- services provided to victims of crime
- waste or recycling centres
- getting an MOT
Significant life events
Up to 30 people will be able to attend weddings, receptions and wakes, as well as funerals. This limit will also apply to other types of significant life events including bar mitzvahs and christenings.
Travelling internationally from England
There are no longer any restrictions on leaving England to travel internationally, however to protect public health in the UK and the vaccine rollout, you should not travel to countries or territories on the red or amber lists.
If you travel to one of these countries or territories, you should look at the rules in place at your destination and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice. You should do this even if you are returning to a place you’ve visited before.
Travelling to England from outside the UK
All visitors travelling to England are subject to the coronavirus restriction rules.
What you must do when you arrive in England from abroad depends on where you have been in the last 10 days before you arrive.
People planning to travel to England should follow the guidance on entering the UK.
Guidance in full
Following the changes on 17 May, if you have further questions, all of the most up-to-date COVID-19 restrictions what you can and cannot do is published here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do#may-whats-changed