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State of the nations: How lockdown is being eased across the UK

PA Reporters
·5 min read

People can finally get their hair cut in Northern Ireland from Friday, while those in Wales are looking forward to more freedom this weekend as coronavirus restrictions are eased.

Here is an overview of the state of restrictions across the different parts of the UK.

– What is happening in Northern Ireland?

Coronavirus – Mon Jul 6, 2020
People in Northern Ireland can get their hair cut from Friday as hairdressers reopen (Liam McBurney/PA)

Close contact services such as hairdressers are reopening from Friday.

Outdoor visitor attractions will also reopen and there will be a resumption of driving lessons and tests, and a return to competitive sports for clubs.

Pubs and cafes can serve people outdoors from April 30 and indoors from May 24, when hotels will also be able to fully reopen again.

The May 24 date is indicative and subject to another Executive review earlier in that month.

From April 30, up to 15 people, including children, from no more than three households can meet up outdoors in a private garden, maintaining social distancing.

From that date people will also be able to stay overnight in self-contained accommodation within a household or bubble.

First Minister Arlene Foster has said the Executive will “keep looking to see if we can move faster” on easing restrictions, but cautioned such a move would depend on the impact of the current and imminent relaxations on virus transmission rates.

– What is the situation in Wales?

Six people from six households can meet outdoors from Saturday in Wales (Ben Birchall/PA)
Six people from six households can meet outdoors from Saturday in Wales (Ben Birchall/PA)

From Saturday, any six people can meet up outdoors, an easing of the current rules which only allow six people from a maximum of two different households to meet.

Children under 11 years of age are not included in the six-household limit, nor are carers from those households

Meeting people from other households indoors is still not allowed except for a limited number of circumstances.

From Monday, pubs, restaurants, cafes and other hospitality businesses will be allowed to offer outdoor service again.

Also from Monday organised outdoor activities will also be permitted for up to 30 people, outdoor wedding receptions for the same number, and outdoor visitor attractions can open.

From May 3, gyms and leisure centres can reopen, and people can form extended households with one other household.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said indoor supervised activities for children, indoor organised activities for up to 15 adults like exercise classes, and reopening community centres will also be brought forward from May 17 to May 3.

Indoor hospitality and tourist accommodation in Wales is expected to reopen on May 17, as well as reopening indoor entertainment venues and attractions.

The dates for indoor hospitality and tourism accommodation brings Wales in line with the reopening dates in England.

– And how about Scotland?

From Monday cafes, restaurants and non-essential shops can re-open in Scotland (Andrew Milligan/PA)
From Monday cafes, restaurants and non-essential shops can reopen in Scotland (Andrew Milligan/PA)

From Monday, cafes, restaurants and beer gardens can open, along with non-essential shops, gyms, swimming pools, libraries and museums.

Hospitality will need to close at 8pm indoors, with alcohol only allowed to be served outside.

People will be able to meet others for a meal or drink, with up to six people from two households allowed to socialise in a public place.

Driving lessons and tests will be able to resume, and close-contact services such as beauty parlours can also return.

Funerals and weddings – including post-funeral events and receptions – will be permitted to take place with up to 50 people, with alcohol allowed.

Travel between Scotland, England and Wales will be also be permitted and tourist accommodation can welcome back visitors.

From May 17, pubs are set to open indoors until 10.30pm and contact sports and some small-scale events can take place.

Cinemas, theatres, comedy clubs, amusement arcades and bingo halls can open, and universities and colleges can return to a more blended model of learning.

Up to four people from two households can socialise indoors in a private home, and six from three households in public places.

From June 7, up to eight people from up to three households can socialise indoors in a public place and up to six people from up to three households in a private place.

Up to 12 people from 12 households can socialise outdoors.

Hospitality can remain open indoors until 11pm, funfairs and soft play can open and attendance at events can increase.

Then from late June, up to 10 people from up to four households can meet indoors in a public place and up to eight people from up to four households in a private place.

The limits on meeting outdoors changes to 15 people from 15 households and the number of people allowed at events will again increase.

– How are things looking in England?

Foreign holidays could be allowed for people living in England from May 17 at the earliest (Steve Parsons/PA)
Foreign holidays could be allowed for people living in England from May 17 at the earliest (Steve Parsons/PA)

The next key date for England is May 17. From no earlier than then, most social contact rules outside will be lifted – although gatherings of more than 30 will remain illegal.

Indoors, the rule of six or two households will apply although the Government has said it will keep under review whether it is safe to increase this.

Indoor hospitality, entertainment venues such as cinemas and soft play areas, the rest of the accommodation sector, and indoor adult group sports and exercise classes will also reopen.

Limited crowds will also be allowed at sporting events.

Foreign holidays could be permitted for people living in England from May 17 under the road map for easing pandemic restrictions.

The Government confirmed this week that coronavirus passports will be available “as soon as possible”.

All remaining restrictions on social contact could be lifted from June 21, allowing for larger events to go ahead and nightclubs to reopen.