Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Covid: What’s the roadmap for lifting lockdown?

Small group meeting indoors

A further lifting of lockdown rules in England has been confirmed by the prime minister.

Having friends over and drinking inside a pub are among the changes coming next Monday, 17 May.

Changes to lockdown rules in Scotland and Wales are expected the same day.

What’s changing on Monday 17 May in England?

Meeting up

People can meet in groups of up to 30 outdoors
Six people or two households can meet indoors, with overnight stays allowed
Up to 30 people can attend weddings, receptions and other life events
Number of people who can attend a funeral no longer capped, but determined by the size of venue
Up to 30 allowed to attend a support group or parent-and-child group (not counting under fives)
Care home residents allowed up to five named visitors, and more freedom for visits out of the home
Social distancing with close family and friends will be a matter of personal judgement. But people are asked to remain cautious around close contact, like hugging.

Social distancing will remain in place in social care, medical, retail, hospitality and business settings

Leisure and entertainment

Pubs, bars and restaurants will be able to open indoors
Indoor entertainment such as museums, cinemas and children’s play areas can open
Theatres, concert halls, conference centres and sports stadiums can all reopen
Organised adult sports and exercise classes can restart indoors
Steam rooms and saunas may reopen
Hotels, hostels and B&Bs can reopen


Face coverings no longer recommended in secondary schools for pupils
All remaining university students eligible to return to in-person teaching


People will be able to travel abroad to green list countries without having to quarantine when they return
What can you do from 21 June in England?
It’s hoped all legal limits on social contact will be removed
Nightclubs will be allowed to reopen

What can you currently do across the UK?

There are some things you can do anywhere – although exact rules may differ between nations:

All shops and retail outlets can open
Pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants can all serve food and drink outside
Hairdressers, nail salons and other close contact services can open (appointment only in Scotland and Northern Ireland)
Gyms and swimming pools are open for individual exercise
You can travel freely between England, Scotland and Wales (but not Northern Ireland)
You can stay in holiday cottages with members of your own household or bubble
Driving lessons and tests have resumed
Communal worship is allowed
You can socialise with people from other households outdoors (numbers vary between nations)
Most outdoor visitor attractions are able to open
Weddings can take place (rules on guests – and receptions – vary)
In England, Scotland and Wales, care home residents can have regular visits from two named people (rules differ in Northern Ireland)

How are lockdown rules changing in Wales?

From Monday 17 May (subject to government approval on 13 May):

Pubs, restaurants and cafes can open indoors
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
People in a street in Scotland alongside a sign on Covid protection rules
How are lockdown rules changing in Scotland?
It is hoped restrictions can be eased further in the coming months:

From 17 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 7 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

When are the next changes in Northern Ireland?

More restrictions may be lifted on 24 May, including:

Reopening of indoor hospitality, including pubs and hotels
Indoor group exercise
Some indoor mixing of households in private homes
Reopening of B&Bs and hotels
Restarting of wedding receptions and funeral wakes
Reopening of indoor visitor attractions

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.