All four British nations are currently subject to lockdown restrictions to further contain the spread of the coronavirus.
However, Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland all have different rules.
On Friday February 19, Prime Minister Mark Drakeford began sketching out how Wales will reopen after a strict lockdown that has been in place since before Christmas.
But how is the coronavirus easing in Wales compared to England, Scotland and Northern Ireland?
Mr Drakeford announced a slight relaxation of coronavirus restrictions.
On Friday, he extended most of the current level 4 lockdown restrictions in Wales by three weeks to ensure the youngest students can go back to school.
Today, children between the ages of three and seven were gradually returning to face-to-face education, along with some students taking hands-on college courses. However, children in at least five community areas will not be returning due to concerns about high coronavirus levels.
Education Secretary Kirsty Williams gave the coronavirus briefing to the Welsh Government on Monday February 22nd saying it was her preference to get all students back to school after the Easter break ( 12. April ) but she couldn’t confirm it yet.
She said, “We will confirm the situation for other learners before the Easter break, but I can tell you that my preference is to bring all learners back to school after this break. I promise to provide more details on how this will look like when I can do this. “
This is the first step in reopening schools in Wales, with the rest of the elementary school and exam children returning March, 15 .
Today, Monday February 22nd, Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled new and “cautious” plans to ease coronavirus restrictions in England.
It is a four-step exit from the currently strict rules, which extends from four months 8th of March.
One of the very first restrictions affects schools.
He wants the students to go back to school 8th of March, with relaxation allowed between two people in public spaces.
For the first few weeks, children are likely to be asked to wear face covers, including in class.
Until then, the schools will remain closed, with the exception of vulnerable students and children of key workers.
In Scotland, the government will publish an out-of-lock route this week. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, however, extended the lockdown of Scotland until at least the end of March.
She confirmed that the students will gradually go back to school February 22 . It is expected to give an update next week.
The prioritized years include children in primary school years one to three and older students who are about to take their exams. The rest will follow on later dates.
Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arelene Foster has extended the lockdown to early April and students will be back to school the next day 8th of March .
Find out about coronavirus cases in your area:
Meet with others
In Wales, Mr Drakeford is hoping he can lift the home stay requirement within three weeks if the coronavirus infection rates continue to fall and stabilize.
Wales will remain on Coronavirus Alert Level 4 for the next three weeks, but the number of people who can meet outdoors to exercise has increased from two to four people from two different households.
It went into effect on Saturday 20. February .
That being said, you can’t hit any other households unless they’re in your support bubble.
People in England need to stay home and only go out if they have “a reasonable excuse”.
In the second half of the lockdown relaxation phase from step one, six people from different households or an unlimited number of two households can meet March 29 in England in a public or private garden.
The “Stay at home” order remains until March 29 when it is replaced by the Council “to stay on the spot”.
On Tuesday February 16, Ms. Sturgeon said there would be “no immediate changes” to Scottish regulations.
At present, people in Scotland are being asked to stay at home unless there is a vital reason.
This is also the case in Northern Ireland – people need to stay home to serve essential purposes such as work and exercise.
Minor retail and entertainment
In Wales, all non-essential retail services will remain closed as level 4 coronavirus restrictions remain in place.
However, they could reopen soon if the coronavirus situation improves.
The Welsh government has confirmed it will look into restrictions on non-essential retail and contact services as part of its next 21-day review, ending Friday. March 12th .
This includes hairdressers, nail salons and non-essential stores that are currently closed.
This also applies to entertainment venues, visitor attractions and sports and leisure facilities in Wales, as well as pubs, bars and cafes. Snack and delivery services are currently allowed.
Mr Johnson has said that sporting and live music events in England will be returning no sooner than 17th of May as part of the new lockdown easing plans.
Unnecessary retail stores, personal hygiene – such as hairdressers and salons – and public buildings such as libraries and museums will reopen at the earliest in step two 12. April .
And pubs and restaurants could serve drinks outside April – and open again inside from Can .
In Scotland, an out-of-lock route should be released next week so there are no exact dates as to when things will relax at this stage.
Currently, most of Scotland has expanded Level 4 restrictions, which means that all non-essential businesses are closed – although restaurants may have takeaways.
In some Scottish island communities, the rules are less strict with hairdressers and restaurants open around 6pm.
In Northern Ireland, pubs and restaurants are not expected to open for takeout services until then at least mid-April.
Currently, off licenses must be closed by 8 p.m.
You can now have all the important news delivered straight to your inbox by signing up for our free WalesOnline newsletter.
Subscribing only takes a few seconds. Just click here, enter your email address and follow the instructions.
As of December 20th, gyms, fitness and leisure centers have been closed in Wales.
Because of the physical and mental benefits of exercise, Drakeford said in early February that it was one of the first restrictions the government would consider easing.
However, he pointed out that it was uncertainty about the new Kent variant that made him reluctant to reopen the gyms at this point, despite coronavirus rates in Wales at their lowest level since September.
According to the First Minister, the earliest gyms could open at Easter. However, this was dependent on the data collected during the current lifting of the restrictions.
Gyms might be open in England April If the government tests are met in the first phase, it would not happen sooner than 12. April .
Gyms and recreational facilities are closed on mainland Scotland where level 4 restrictions apply. In areas with Level 3 rules, indoor use of the fitness room is restricted to individuals.
This is subject to review.
Gyms and indoor recreational facilities are currently closed in Northern Ireland and will be checked on March 18th .
In Wales, the tourism industry remains closed under the current Level 4 restrictions.
It is hoped, however, that parts of the Welsh tourism industry will could reopen until Easter depending on the state of the coronavirus.
In a question-and-answer session on Facebook, Drakeford said he believes 2021 will be “the year to take advantage of all that Wales has to offer”.
Added: “I absolutely hope to vacation in Pembrokeshire again this year and I think this is the safest way to vacation.”
In England , “Independent” accommodations – such as vacation homes without shared facilities – can be reopened from step two .
And overnight stays in hotels and B & Bs can be resumed Step three .
Ms Sturgeon warned people in Scotland not to book Easter holidays as it is “highly unlikely” that hotels or self-catering accommodation will be open.
She advised against booking a break overseas or in Scotland in early April. She also said it was unlikely to have vacation overseas for Scots in the summer.
However, she said “staycations” might be possible depending on coronavirus data.
Although Northern Ireland’s restrictions have been extended until just before the Easter break, the government has also advised people to be careful planning a getaway at this time.
Ms. Foster said the government would give instructions on what will be allowed at Easter March 18th .
In Wales from 1st March The law will be amended to allow licensed wedding venues such as visitor attractions and hotels to reopen, but only wedding and civil partnership ceremonies.
Wedding receptions or other social gatherings after the ceremony are still prohibited.
The number of people who can attend a funeral continues to depend on how many people the venue can safely accommodate.
From 12. April In England at the earliest, funerals with up to 30 people can continue.
Wedding receptions and memorial events – the number increases from six to 15.
In Scotland, wedding ceremonies and civil partnership registrations can take place with a maximum capacity of five people, while funerals can take place with a maximum capacity of 20 people, provided that the capacity of the venue allows a physical distance of two meters.
This will continue until further notice.
Similarly, in Northern Ireland, marriages, civil partnerships and funeral ceremonies will continue to be limited to 25 people.