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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 3:40pm on Tuesday, 15 June. 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 3 of the plan.

The government has announced a pause to 'Step 3' that has delayed 'Step 4' by 4 weeks. This means the lift of all restrictions will be no earlier than Monday, 19 July 2021.

There is 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

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 can attend indoor play activities. Up to 15 parents or guardians allowed to join them.

  • Life events

    Wakes and weddings can be attended by 30 people.

Step 3 - ACTIVE

17 May and 21 June

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 is 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 can attend weddings, receptions and commemorative events such as wakes. Christenings and bar mitzvahs are also allowed. (Guidance updated refer to Monday 21 June).

  • Travel

    International travel - subject to review.

  • Entertainment

    Remaining outdoor entertainment, including performances.

  • Events

    Some large events can resume - capacity limits apply.

Monday 21 June

  • Care homes

    Every care home resident can nominate up to 5 visitors who can enter the home for regular visits. One of these can be a caregiver, who is able to visit in all circumstances, including if the care home has a COVID-19 outbreak.

  • Residential visits

    Out-of-school organisations, such as Brownies, can organise domestic residential visits for up to 30 children in a consistent group. Organisers must comply with guidance on reducing risk.

  • Life events

    Any number of people can attend weddings and other ceremonial events, as long as you are seated at tables of no more than 6 people.

Step 4

No earlier than Monday, 19 July

  • 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.