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COVID-19 Local restrictions

Information about the current lockdown and plans to ease these restrictions with the government's 4-step plan.

This page was last updated at 9:37am on Monday, 12 April. We will update this page as more information becomes available.

4-step plan

A 4-step plan (or roadmap) to ease lockdown restrictions in England was announced on Monday, 22 February 2021. We are now in step 2 of the plan.

There will be a minimum of 5 weeks between each step to limit the risk of infections and hospitalisations, with at least 1 week’s advance notice of the changes in restrictions.

Restrictions will be lifted across the whole of England at the same time with no return to regional tiers.

View the 4-step plan

Until all restrictions are eased, we should continue to follow National Lockdown: Stay at home guidance.


4-step plan for easing lockdown

Step 1

8 March and 29 March

Monday, 8 March

  • Education

    Schools and colleges can reopen. University students can return for practical courses.

  • Meeting others

    You can meet 1 person from another household outdoors for social purposes (such as a picnic or coffee), as well as for exercise. You must still socially distance.

  • Childcare

    Wraparound childcare can resume (before/after school care).

  • Care homes

    Every care home resident can nominate a single, named visitor who can visit them regularly and hold hands with.

  • Life events

    Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people. Wakes and weddings can be attended by a maximum of 6 people.

Monday, 29 March

  • Meeting others

    You can meet up outside with people in groups of a maximum of 6 people from different households OR you can meet in groups of more than 6 but only where it is from 2 households.

  • Sports

    Outdoor sports facilities can reopen, this includes tennis, basketball courts and outdoor swimming pools. Formally organised outdoor sports will be allowed too. No indoor sports.

  • Travel

    The ‘Stay at Home’ rule ends - but you continue to minimise travel and stay local where possible.

  • Parent and child groups

    Parent and child groups can take place outdoors with a limit of 15 attendees (children under 5 years of age do not count towards the attendee limit).

Step 2 - ACTIVE

Monday, 12 April

  • Retail

    All shops can open.

  • Hospitality

    Restaurants and pubs can open for outdoor table service.

  • Holidays

    You can stay away overnight in England with people in your household in self-contained accommodation (no shared facilities). No international travel.

  • Indoor leisure

    Gyms and spas can reopen for individuals and households.

  • Outdoor attractions

    Outdoor attractions, such as zoos, theme parks and drive-in cinemas can re-open.

  • Libraries

    Libraries and community centres can open.

  • Personal care

    Hairdressers, beauty salons and other 'close contact services' can reopen.

  • Indoor play

    Children allowed to attend indoor play activities, with up to 15 parents or guardians allowed to join them.

  • Life events

    Wakes and weddings can now be attended by 30 people.

Step 3

No earlier than Monday, 17 May

  • Meeting outdoors

    You can meet outdoors in groups of no more than 30 people.

  • Meeting indoors

    You can meet indoors with 1 other household, in no more than a group of 6.

  • Pubs and restaurants

    All indoor hospitality, including restaurants and pubs, can open.

  • Sports

    All indoor group sports and exercises classes will be allowed.

  • Indoor entertainment and attractions

    All indoor entertainment such as museums, cinema and children's play areas can open.

  • Hospitality

    All remaining accommodation such as hotels, hostels and B&Bs can open.

  • Life events

    Up to 30 people will be able to attend weddings, receptions and commemorative events such as wakes. Christenings and bar mitzvahs will also be allowed.

  • Travel

    International travel (subject to review).

  • Entertainment

    Remaining outdoor entertainment (including performances).

  • Events

    Some large events can resume - capacity limits apply.

Step 4

No earlier than Monday, 21 June

  • Meeting others

    All legal limits on social contact will be removed.

  • Life events

    Any number of people can attend weddings and other ceremonial events.

  • Social gatherings

    All remaining businesses and events, including nightclubs, can open.

National lockdown: Stay at Home

In effect from Tuesday, 5 January 2021

What does the National lockdown: Stay at Home mean?

You must stay at home. The single most important action we can all take is to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives. This lockdown is in effect from Tuesday, 5 January 2021.

Leaving home

You must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary. You may only leave the home to:

  • shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person

  • go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home

  • exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area

  • meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one

  • seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)

  • attend education or childcare - for those eligible.

If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local in the village or town where you live. You may leave your local area for a legally permitted reason, such as for work.

Meeting others

  • You cannot leave your home to meet socially with anyone you do not live with or are not in a support bubble with (if you are legally permitted to form one).

  • You may exercise on your own, with one other person, or with your household or support bubble.

  • You should not meet other people you do not live with, or have formed a support bubble with, unless for a permitted reason.

  • Stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household.

  • From Monday, 8 March 2021 outdoor recreation, such as a picnic, is allowed. This can be on your own, with one other person, or with your household or support bubble.


  • Schools and colleges are closed from Tuesday, 5 January to most pupils, except vulnerable children and the children of critical workers, and they will provide remote learning for other students until at least the half-term in February.

  • Early years settings such as nurseries will stay open

  • End-of-year exams will not take place this summer as normal

  • Elsewhere, university students should not return to campuses and will be taught online

  • From Monday, 8 March 2021 school and college pupils will return to face-to-face education in school and further education in England. Wraparound childcare, such as after-school clubs, can reopen to enable parents to work, attend education, access medical care or attend a support group.

Food delivery

  • Restaurants can continue to offer food delivery, but takeaway alcohol is banned


  • Outdoor sports venues - such as golf courses, tennis courts and outside gyms - must close

  • Outdoor playgrounds remain open

  • Amateur team sports are not allowed

  • Elite sport such as Premier League football can continue

Full guidance on GOV.UK

Read the full National lockdown guidance, including any exemptions or exceptions, on GOV.UK

You must also continue to…

  • wear a face covering
  • follow social distancing rules
  • wash hands regularly.