Stage two in the government's roadmap out of lockdown starts on Monday, April 12 – here's what changes
THE second stage of the government's 'roadmap' out of lockdown kicks in next week after PM Boris Johnson confirmed it would go ahead as planned.
From the reopening of all shops to pubs being allowed to welcome customers in beer gardens, here is what changes from Monday.
All shops to reopen
Retailers will be glad to hear their tills ringing once more as all shops deemed "non-essential" will be allowed to reopen.
They've had 'closed' signs in the windows since the start of the third lockdown on January 6.
As a further boost for clothing stores, the reopening will also see fitting rooms permitted, so shoppers will be able to try items on.
Many shopping centres have confirmed their intention to reopen, with social distancing measures in place.
Hairdressers, beauty salons etc
The wait for that long overdue haircut is almost over.
For anyone who has swerved the DIY option, the much-anticipated trip to the barbers or salon is likely to be high on priority lists, and they reopen on Monday.
But for anyone who has not booked, the wait could continue, as demand for their services will be high.
The rules will allow for any close-contact services, such as nail bars, to also resume trading.
Al fresco eating and drinking
It's arguably what many are looking forward to the most, as restaurants and pubs will be allowed to reopen.
There will be a number of conditions though - food and drinks will be served only to customers sitting outdoors and it will be table service only.
However, you can forget the debate over whether a scotch egg constitutes a substantial meal, as there will be no need to have food with drinks.
There will also be no curfew, so it will be down to the landlord when they want to kick you out.
Need a holiday?
Members of the same household will be able to go on holiday in England.
There's a catch though - it has to be self-contained accommodation.
So you will be restricted to holiday lets and some campsites, where indoor facilities are not shared with other households.
Jetting off abroad will still be banned.
More things to do
Days out to attractions such as zoos and theme parks will once again be an option.
Social distancing rules will still apply, with numbers limited to groups of six or two households.
Visitors are advised to book in advance to avoid disappointment.
Return to routine
For anyone longing to get back to their favourite place to workout, don't sweat - gyms can reopen.
Leisure centres and swimming pools will also be allowed to accept visitors.
The same applies to libraries and community centres.
However, as they are indoor settings, people should visit alone or in household groups.
Care home visitors
The number of people who will be allowed to visit a care home is to increase to two per resident.
Babies and children are not counted as one of the two visitors, meaning some families will be reunited for the first time in months.
People will be allowed to hold hands but personal protective equipment (PPE) must be worn, while a negative rapid lateral flow test will be required from adults before they can go inside homes.
The first face-to-face visits since the start of January were permitted from March 8.
Weddings and funerals
The limitations on numbers of people at weddings will be eased, rising from a maximum of six to 15.
But there will still be limits on where ceremonies can take place. Weddings can be held in places of worship, public buildings, locations and outdoor settings that are already allowed to open.
That means the majority of wedding venues will remain closed.
Funerals will continue to be able to proceed with 30 people present but the number of those who can attend a wake will rise from six to 15.
Driving instructors back behind wheel
Lessons given by professional driving instructors will restart.
The first tests are set to be available from April 22.
Learners have been unable to take a test since December.
The easing of restrictions means all theory tests, motorcycle tests, lorry lessons and tests, car and trailer tests and minibus lessons will be able to go ahead.
What happens next?
The third stage of the easing of lockdown will not happen before May 17.
That's when most restrictions on meeting outdoors will be lifted - although gatherings of more than 30 people will still be illegal. Indoors, the rule of six or two households will apply.
An update on social distancing between family and friends, including hugging, is expected no later than May 17.
Hospitality will reopen indoors but the table service rule will remain in place.
Other indoor locations opening up after May 17 at the earliest include entertainment venues such as cinemas, theatres and children’s play areas, hotels, hostels and B&Bs and sporting facilities for adult group sports and exercise classes.
Performances and large events will be able to resume but with limits on audience numbers.
Up to 30 people will be able to attend weddings, receptions and wakes, as well as funerals.
Social distancing review
The fourth stage of lifting lockdown is not due to start until June 21 but before that a review of social distancing measures will be carried out.
It will be used to help decide what to do about rules such as keeping one metre-plus apart and wearing face masks. There will also be guidance on whether people need to continue working from home.
If all goes to plan, but not before June 21, legal limitations on socialising could be lifted.
The results of pilot events held in the spring, where testing will be trialled, will guide decisions on lifting limits applied to larger events and performances, where audience numbers had previously been limited, and weddings.