Lockdown ease in Britain
London – Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned people to continue to take steps to “suppress COVID” as the latest stage of lockdown easing comes into effect.
Pub gardens, indoor gyms and hairdressers are among the businesses that can now reopen in England.
Northern Ireland’s “stay-at-home” order is ending and some rules are also being relaxed in Scotland and Wales.
Mr Johnson welcomed the “major” step towards normality, but urged everyone to “behave responsibly”.
The PM had planned to have a celebratory pint to mark the measures easing, but that has been postponed following the death of the Duke of Edinburgh on Friday.
The rule changes in England from Monday include:
- All shops can reopen
- Hairdressers, beauty salons and other close-contact services can open
- Restaurants and pubs are allowed to serve food and alcohol to customers sitting outdoors
- Gyms, spas, zoos, theme parks, libraries and community centres can all open
- Members of the same household can take a holiday in England in self-contained accommodation
- Up to 15 people can attend weddings and 30 can attend funerals
- Children can attend any indoor children’s activity
- Care home visitors will increase to two per resident
- Driving lessons can resume, with tests restarting on April 22.
In Northern Ireland, the remaining school year groups 8-11 will return to the classroom. The stay-at-home message is being relaxed and up to 10 people from two households can meet in a private garden.
In Scotland, all school pupils are returning to full-time education. However, not everyone is returning on Monday because differing term times mean some schools are still closed for the Easter holidays.
After a drop in Covid cases prompted the Welsh Government to bring forward some dates for reopening, all students will return to face-to-face teaching on Monday.
Non-essential shops can also reopen, close-contact services can resume, driving lessons can restart and travel in and out of Wales from the rest of the UK is allowed. (BBC)