UK lockdown rules will change again next week as part of the government’s roadmap.
Some restrictions will be relaxed on March 29th.
The date marks the second part of step one of the route out of the coronavirus lockdown, which has been in force since January.
The first part began on March 8th when the children returned to school, nursing home residents were allowed to visit regularly, and people were allowed to meet another person to socialize outside.
The next step is good news for those who miss their families and friends. This allows us to make a lot more social contacts.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said this week that the UK is on track to stick to the roadmap despite concerns about delivery of the Covid-19 vaccine. More than 26 million people have now received their first dose, but the rollout will be suspended in April due to supply problems for those under 50.
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The government’s roadmap states: “Starting March 29, there is an opportunity for some more limited changes under Step 1 as most schools start separating for the Easter break.
“Until then, the ban will last for twelve weeks. During this time, people could not see their extended family and friends or spend a lot of time outside the home. At that point, the government will allow people to meet.” in limited numbers outdoors, where they are less likely to catch or pass the virus on. “
The rules that will change on March 29th
Stay at Home order lifts: People are no longer legally obliged to stay at home. Most restrictions remain and people cannot meet indoors and stay away from home overnight (unless for a specific reason). People are still being advised to minimize travel as much as possible and guidance on how to work from home remains in place.
Return of the rule of six: People can meet outside in groups of no more than 6 people (rule 6) or with a different household, although people from different households still need to be socially separated from each other. This includes private gardens. Those who are already in a support bubble count as one household.
Outdoor sports: Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts and swimming pools are reopening and can be used by individuals in accordance with more general social contact boundaries. Formally organized outdoor sports – for adults and under the age of 18 – can also be restarted and are not subject to assembly restrictions, but should follow guidelines from national governing bodies.
Activities for children: All children have access to all outdoor childcare and supervised activities. Parent and children’s groups can also take place outdoors with a maximum of 15 participants (children under five are not included in the number of participants). Children may continue to participate in indoor childcare or supervised activities only when permitted by parents or caregivers who are working, looking for work, attending an education, seeking medical help, or attending a support group.
Weddings and funerals: The current attendance limits for funerals (30 for services and six for guards) and weddings (six) will not change. Weddings can now take place without any extraordinary circumstances.
What happens next?
Step two of the lockdown roadmap will take place on April 12 at the earliest, when the children have returned to school after the Easter break.
If things continue as planned, it will be the most important step in unblocking as many businesses – including non-essential stores, hairdressers, and outdoor attractions – are allowed to reopen.
Pubs and restaurants can also open as long as they serve meals and drinks outdoors.
People can also stay away from home overnight as long as they are traveling with members of their own household or a support bubble.
Indoor social mixing is still not allowed.