Boris Johnson today is set to announce the next stage of lockdown easing for England, which will include the reopening of hospitality venues indoors. But what are the next steps for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland? We take a look.
The next review of restrictions in Wales is due by 13th May, a week after the Senedd elections on 6th May.
The current plan is for indoor hospitality and tourism accommodation to reopen from 17th May but this will need to be confirmed by whoever forms the next government.
Subject to government approval on 13th May, the restrictions should ease from Monday 17th May and allow:
- Reopening indoors of pubs, restaurants and cafes
- Cinemas, theatres and museums can reopen
What’s recently changed?
- Gym exercise classes, and other organised indoor activities for adults, can resume for up to 15 people
- People can form extended households again, allowing two households to meet and have contact indoors
- Community centres can open
Scotland has a Covid review on Tuesday 11th May where they will set out the final decisions for the next easing of restrictions scheduled for May 17th.
The country is due to move down from Level 3 to Level 2 of restrictions on that date. Up to four people from two households can socialise indoors in a private home in Level 2. Pubs can sell alcohol indoors and cinemas, theatres, comedy clubs, amusement arcades and bingo halls can open.
It is hoped restrictions can be eased further in the coming months to allow the following:
From 17th May:
- Up to four people from no more than two households can socialise indoors in a private home
- Up to six adults from three households can meet in an indoor public place (such as a bar)
- Up to eight adults from eight households can meet anywhere outdoors
- Hospitality venues return to “greater normality”, possibly serving alcohol indoors until 22:30 – customers may be asked to book two-hour slots
- Outdoor adult contact sport and indoor group exercise to restart
- Cinemas, amusement arcades and bingo halls to reopen
From 7th June:
- Up to six people from up to three households to socialise indoors in a private home
- Up to eight people from three households to socialise indoors in a public place
- A maximum of 12 people from 12 households to socialise outdoors
- Hospitality can remain open until 23:00
- A maximum of 100 people at weddings, funerals and other life events
What’s recently changed?
- Cafes, pubs and restaurants can open indoors – until 20:00 each day, no alcohol can be served, groups of up to six people from two households
- Indoor attractions like galleries and museums can reopen
- Non-essential informal childcare can restart
- Non-essential work can resume inside people’s homes
- The number of people who can attend funerals and wakes has risen from 20 to 50
The next milestone is in just over two weeks’ time on May 24th – if the Northern Ireland Executive gives the green light on May 13th.
Stormont’s Pathway out of Restrictions is set at four-week intervals, allowing the Executive to assess several weeks’ worth of coronavirus data. If the Executive agree, the 24th of May means:
- Reopening unlicensed and licensed premises indoors with mitigations
- Reopening the remainder of Tourist accommodation
- Allowing visits indoors in domestic settings
- Reopening indoor visitor and cultural attractions, such as museums, galleries, cinemas and bingo halls. Music venues are not included in this indicative date
- Resume indoor group exercise and training in numbers limited to suit the venue.
- The resumption of post-funeral gatherings (numbers to be informed by a risk assessment for the venue)
- The resumption of post-wedding ceremony receptions or functions (numbers to be informed by a risk assessment for the venue).
This date however is subject to review, and whether all or some of these restrictions will be lifted on May 24th will form part of the discussions for the Executive this week.
What else has changed in Northern Ireland recently?
- The closing time of 23:00 BST for takeaways and 20:00 for off-licences and selling of alcohol has been removed
- Competitive outdoor sports and squad training has restarted
- Static band practice and rehearsals allowed in agreed outdoor locations
- Care home residents are allowed two one-hour visits per week
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