(COVID-19) Coronavirus restrictions - changes from 12 April:

  • non-essential retail will be able to reopen
  • personal care premises such as hairdressers and nail salons will be able to reopen
  • public buildings such as libraries and community centres will be able to reopen
  • outdoor hospitality venues will be able to reopen, with table service only
  • most outdoor attractions including zoos, theme parks, and drive-in performances (such as cinemas and concerts) will be able to reopen
  • some smaller outdoor events such as fetes, literary fairs, and fairgrounds will be able to take place
  • indoor leisure and sports facilities will be able to reopen for individual exercise, or exercise with your household or support bubble
  • all childcare and supervised activities will be allowed indoors (as well as outdoors) for all children. Parent and child groups can take place indoors (as well as outdoors) for up to 15 people (children under 5 will not be counted in this number)
  • weddings, civil partnership ceremonies, wakes and other commemorative events will be able to take place for up to 15 people (anyone working is not included in this limit), including in indoor venues that are permitted to open or where an exemption applies. Wedding receptions can also take place for up to 15 people, but must take place outdoors, not including private gardens
  • self-contained accommodation will be able to open for overnight stays in England with your household or support bubble
  • you should continue to minimise the amount that you travel where possible
  • care home residents will be able to nominate two named individuals for regular indoor visits (following a rapid lateral flow test)

Full government guidance on what you can and cannot do, updated with changes from 12th April

Outdoor hospitality will be among those reopening in England next week after the Prime Minister confirmed the roadmap is on track and planned easements can go ahead.

Significant parts of the indoor economy and further outdoor settings will reopen from 12 April, after data confirmed the government’s “four tests” for easing Covid restrictions had been met.

However he continued to urge caution, with no changes to social contact rules and many restrictions still in place. Outdoor gatherings must still be limited to 6 people or 2 households, and you must not socialise indoors with anyone you do not live with or have not formed a support bubble with.

Confirmation Step 2 of the roadmap would proceed came after the measures were agreed at a “Covid O” meeting and discussed on a Cabinet call earlier today (Monday).

Before proceeding to this step, the government studied the latest data to assess the impact of the first step, which began when schools reopened on 8 March.

The assessment was based on four tests:

  • The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully
  • Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated.
  • Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS.
  • Our assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern.

As set out in the roadmap, around four weeks is required to see the impact in the data of the previous step.

The government also committed to provide a further week’s notice to businesses, provided through the update from the Prime Minister today.

From Monday 12 April additional premises will be able to reopen – with the rules on social contact applying. Indoor settings must only be visited alone or with household groups, with outdoor settings limited to either six people or two households.

This includes non-essential retail; personal care premises such as hairdressers, beauty and nail salons; and indoor leisure facilities such as gyms and spas (but not including saunas and steam rooms, which are due to open at Step 3).

Overnight stays away from home in England will be permitted and self-contained accommodation can also reopen, though must only be used by members of the same household or support bubble.

Public buildings such as libraries and community centres will also reopen.

The majority of outdoor settings and attractions can also reopen, including outdoor hospitality, zoos, theme parks, drive-in cinemas and drive-in performances events.

Hospitality venues will be able to open for outdoor service, with no requirement for a substantial meal to be served alongside alcohol, and no curfew. The requirement to eat and drink while seated will remain.

People should continue to work from home where they can, and minimise domestic travel where they can. International holidays are still illegal.

The number of care home visitors will also increase to two per resident, and all children will be able to attend any indoor children’s activity, including sport, regardless of circumstance.

Parent and child groups of up to 15 people (not counting children aged under five years old) can restart indoors.

Funerals can continue with up to 30 attendees. Weddings, outdoor receptions, and commemorative events including wakes will be able to take place with up to 15 attendees (in premises that are permitted to open).

The government is also publishing today an update on the 4 reviews established in the roadmap to determine what measures may be necessary from summer onwards.

A Covid-status certification system will be developed over the coming months which could allow higher-risk settings to be opened up more safely and with more participants. Over the coming months, a system will be developed which will take into account three factors: vaccination, a recent negative test, or natural immunity (determined on the basis of a positive test taken in the previous six months).

Events pilots will take place from mid-April to trial the system. All pilots are checking Covid status, initially this will be through testing alone but in later pilots vaccination and acquired immunity are expected to be alternative ways to demonstrate status.

Statement by Prime Minister Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP

Good afternoon, I hope you’re all continuing to enjoy the Easter break, and I know that over this weekend millions of people have been able to see loved ones for the first time in months.

And I want to thank you all again for your patience, because it is really clear now that this is paying off.

And it your collective efforts, our collective efforts, that has given us that crucial time and space to vaccinate more than 31 million people.

And I’m pleased that we’ve also been able to support our overseas territories so that Gibraltar has become one of the first places in the world to offer a vaccination to its entire adult population.

And the net result of your efforts and the vaccine roll-out is that I can today confirm that from Monday 12th April, we will move to Step Two of our roadmap - re-opening shops, gyms, zoos, holiday campsites, personal care services like hairdressers and, of course, beer gardens and outdoor hospitality of all kinds.

And on Monday the 12th I will be going to the pub myself - and cautiously but irreversibly raising a pint of beer to my lips.

We’re also increasing the number of visitors to care homes from one to two – to allow residents to see more of their loved ones.

We think that these changes are fully justified by the data which show we are meeting our four tests for easing the lockdown as Chris will shortly explain.

But – and you know I’m going to say this – we can’t be complacent.

We can see the waves of sickness afflicting other countries and we’ve seen how this story goes.

We still don’t know how strong the vaccine shield will be when cases begin to rise, as I’m afraid that they will – and that’s why we’re saying:

Please get your vaccine or your second dose when your turn comes.

And please use the free NHS tests – even if you don’t feel ill, because remember 1 in 3 people with this virus doesn’t have any symptoms - and you can get these tests from pharmacies or your local test site, you can even order them on gov.uk and get home deliveries.

As part of our roadmap we’re also publishing today on gov.uk the early thinking on our four reviews, on the safe return of major events, on social distancing, the potential role of Covid status certification, and on the resumption of international travel.

We set out our roadmap and we’re sticking to it.

And I want to stress, that we see nothing in the present data that makes us think that we will have to deviate from that roadmap.

But it is by being cautious, by monitoring the data at every stage and by following the rules: remembering hands, face, space and fresh air - that we hope together to make this roadmap to freedom irreversible.