At-a-glance: What can I do now?

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Many aspects of the coronavirus lockdown have now eased across the UK, but some restrictions have been reintroduced in parts of England, following a rise in the number of coronavirus cases.

What are the latest changes?

Some measures to ease restrictions in England, which were supposed to come into force on 1 August, have now been put back until 15 August at the earliest:

  • Indoor venues such as casino, ice rinks sand bowling alleys, which were due to reopen, will remain closed
  • Live indoor theatre and concerts, which were due to resume with socially distanced audiences, will not take place
  • Pilot sporting events allowing limited numbers of spectators at Goodwood, the Crucible and The Oval, will not go ahead
  • Wedding receptions with up to 30 guests cannot yet happen

What are the new restrictions in parts of England?

On 31 July, restrictions were reintroduced for Greater Manchester, east Lancashire and parts of West Yorkshire.

People from separate households in these areas are not allowed to mix with each other in their homes or gardens, or in pubs and restaurants.

People will only be able to visit such hospitality venues with members of their own household.

In Leicester, where a local lockdown has been in force for several weeks, restrictions are also in place on household visits.

However, from 3 August pubs and restaurants in the city will be allowed to reopen.

What are the rules elsewhere in England?

In all other areas of England, two households are now able to meet indoors or outside, including overnight stays.

The two households have to maintain social distancing throughout, unless they are part of the same support bubble.

Indoor meetings of more than two households are not recommended, because of the higher risk of infection.

But households can meet with multiple others as long as each meeting is separate.

Outdoors, people from multiple households can meet in groups of up to six.

When the changes were announced, it was suggested that two households “of any size” could get together. However, when the rules were introduced a limit of 30 people for any gathering was included.

People who are clinically vulnerable and have been “shielding” can gather in groups of up to six people outdoors from 1 August, when shielding is paused. This includes individuals outside of their household, and form a “support bubble” with one other household.

What about the rest of the UK?

In Scotland, up to eight people from three different households can meet indoors while social distancing. Up to 15 people from five different households can meet outdoors.

The social distancing rules will no longer apply to non-cohabiting couples and they can stay at each other’s houses.

In Northern Ireland, groups of up to six people not in the same household can now meet indoors while socially distancing – it’s a maximum of 30 outdoors.

In Wales, any number of people from two different households can now meet outdoors – but meetings indoors are still not allowed.

Hospitality and holidays

Hotels, pubs and restaurants in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland that serve food and have table service are now reopen.

In Wales, beer gardens and outdoor restaurants are open, and can open indoors from 3 August. All establishments must follow safety guidelines.

The rules for England include:

  • Indoor hospitality will be table service only, with limited contact between staff and customers
  • Customers will also have to give contact details on arrival
  • Businesses will be expected to monitor crowd density in their premises

Holiday accommodation – including hotels, B&Bs, cottages, campsites and caravan parks – has now reopened, with households in England allowed to stay away from home overnight. Shared facilities, such as campsite toilets, must be cleaned properly.

Holiday accommodation has now reopened in Scotland as well. In Wales, self-contained accommodation is also now open again, with campsites opening on 25 July.

Travellers from more than 50 countries including France, Germany and Italy will no longer have to quarantine for two weeks when they enter England, Wales or Northern Ireland, although many of those countries have restrictive rules for people arriving from the UK.

Travellers from Spain to the UK have to quarantine for two weeks, following a reintroduction of restrictions on 25 July.

Can I finally get a haircut?

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Media captionCoronavirus: What salons will look like post-lockdown

Hairdressers are now open again across the UK. They also have to take safety precautions.

Other places allowed to reopen in England include:

  • Outdoor gyms, children’s playgrounds and other outdoor spaces
  • Libraries, community centres, bingo halls, cinemas, museums and galleries
  • Funfairs and theme parks, amusement arcades, outdoor skating rinks, social clubs and model villages
  • Places of worship can open for prayers and services

In Northern Ireland, Wales and England, nail salons and tattoo parlours have now reopened.

Distancing guidelines

The 2m (6ft) social distancing guidance has changed in England to ”one metre plus”.

Where it is not possible to stay 2m apart, people should keep a distance of at least 1m while observing precautions to reduce the risk of transmission.

The change will help offices, and venues like restaurants, hairdressers, pubs and bars to increase capacity. Businesses are being asked to help by introducing measures such as protective screens and face coverings, staggering employees’ start and finish times, and seating people further apart.

Northern Ireland has reduced its distancing rule to 1m with restrictions.

The 2m rule has been eased to 1m in Scotland in shops and on transport. Indoor pubs, cafes and restaurants can apply for exemption from the 2m distancing rule, if they take certain steps.

In Wales, the rules will be relaxed to recognise that 2m is not realistic in some businesses such as hairdressers. Other measures, including wearing masks, will be expected to be used instead.

What else will remain closed in England?

At present there is no date for some venues to reopen, including nightclubs and indoor play areas (including soft play).

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