Outdoor hospitality, non-essential retail and leisure facilities are among the venues that can reopen in England today as lockdown measures ease further.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed last week that England could move to step 2 of its lockdown easing plan, as a result of continued progress in tackling the coronavirus pandemic.
England’s 7-day coronavirus case rate is now around 30 cases per 100,000 people – the lowest level in 7 months.
From today, the following venues can reopen in England;
- Reopening of all retail and personal care outlets
- Reopening of outdoor hospitality
- Reopening of libraries and community centres
- Reopening of most outdoor attractions
- Reopening of indoor leisure centres, gyms and pools for individual use only
- Self-contained accommodation can reopen
In addition, some other lockdown easements have been made, including allowing for the resumption of children’s activities and team sports for under 18s.
Despite the easements, COVID-secure measures including social distancing and mask-wearing will still be in force. In outdoor hospitality outlets, visitors will also need to leave their personal details for contact tracing purposes in the case of an outbreak of the virus.
A number of indoor venues are to remain closed – including restaurants, nightclubs and communal hotels.
Following the death of Prince Philip on Friday, government ministers are not expected to take part in engagements to mark the reopening of venues.
For most shops, it will be the first time they have been open since before Christmas – while pubs in many areas will be serving people at outdoor seating for the first time since the start of November due to Tier 3&4 measures at the end of 2020 and then lockdown measures since.
The easements as a whole are only taking place in England, though some similar measures are also being lifted in Wales from today.