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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 5pm on Friday, 27 August. 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 4 of the plan, and all previous restrictions have ended.


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

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 (Restrictions end) - ACTIVE

Monday, 19 July

  • Meeting others

    All legal limits on social contact will be removed. However, while cases are high and rising it is advisable to minimise the number, proximity and duration of social contacts where possible, as well as meeting outside or letting fresh air circulate.

  • Face coverings

    The government expects and strongly recommends that people wear face coverings (unless exempt) in crowded areas such as public transport or when requested to do so by individual businesses or settings.

  • Self-isolation

    You and your household must continue to self-isolate if you test positive or develop symptoms, for 10 days from the date of the test or first symptoms. You must also self-isolate if you are told to do so by NHS Test and Trace. This remains law. As of 19 July, a limited number of critical workers may be informed by their employer, following government advice, to leave self-isolation to attend work.

  • Life events

    Any number of people can attend weddings and other ceremonial or life events (including receptions and celebrations). There is no requirement for table service at life events, or restrictions on singing or dancing. You should follow government guidance to reduce risk and protect yourself and others. Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19, even if they’re mild, should not attend.

  • Working from home

    Whilst government is no longer instructing people to work from home if they can, they would expect and recommend a gradual return over the summer to minimise risk.

  • Social gatherings

    All remaining closed businesses such as nightclubs and adult entertainment venues are now able to open.

  • Hospitality

    Hospitality venues such as pubs, restaurants and bars are no longer required to provide table service or follow other social distancing rules. You are advised to continue checking in to a venue using the NHS COVID-19 app.

  • Events

    All capacity limits at sporting, entertainment, or business events have been lifted. Larger venues and events will be encouraged to use the NHS COVID Pass as a condition of entry, in order to reduce the risk of COVID-19.

  • Travel

    There is a traffic light system in place for international travel. You should not travel to countries or territories on the red or amber lists. Fully-vaccinated people returning to England from most amber list countries will not need to quarantine.

Thu 22 Jul