Boris Johnson has announced that England can enter ‘Step Three’ of the roadmap out of lockdown from May 17.
In a Downing Street press conference on May 10 - the prime minister announced that people in England can take a step closer to normality from next week as more indoor mixing and hugging loved ones will be permitted once more.
Boris Johnson said the government will update its guidance on close contact between friends and family on Monday which would set out the risks involved so people could make their own choices.
It comes as the Covid alert level in the UK has been downgraded to ‘level 3’ from ‘level 4’ after a “consistent” fall in cases, hospital admissions and deaths.
The government has said the latest data suggests easing restrictions from May 17 is unlikely to risk a resurgence in infections.
England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said the four tests had been met which enabled the next stage of lockdown easing to proceed.
What can people in England do from May 17?
Although most social contact rules outdoors will be lifted, gatherings of more than 30 will remain illegal.
In 'Step Three', all of the most high-risk sectors will be able to reopen, with Covid-secure guidance in place.
This includes the reopening of:
- indoor hospitality
- remaining outdoor entertainment, such as outdoor theatres and cinemas
- indoor entertainment, such as museums, cinemas and children’s play areas
- remaining accommodation, such as hotels, hostels and B&Bs
- adult indoor group sports and exercise classes
- some large events, including conferences, theatre and concert performances and sports events
- international travel, subject to review
- Weddings, receptions, funerals, and commemorative events, including wakes, can also go ahead from this date with up to 30 attendees.
All university students in England can return to campus next week for in-person teaching, with those returning expected to get tested twice a week throughout the rest of the summer term.
Face coverings for pupils will no longer be recommended in classrooms or in communal areas in secondary schools and colleges.
Meanwhile, Government guidance continues to advise employees to work from home where they can.