Lockdown measures are starting to be eased after more than two months of restrictions. But how is everyday life changing? Here is a lockdown update from BBC:
Can I meet friends and relatives?
From Monday in England, you will be able to meet in groups of up to six people from different households outside – either in parks or now also in private gardens – as long as you remain 2m (6ft) apart.
From Friday in Scotland, members of two different households will be allowed to meet up outdoors if you maintain social distancing. Groups cannot be bigger than eight, and people are “strongly recommended” not to meet more than one other household per day.
In Wales, the BBC understands that people from two different households will be able to meet each other outdoors from Monday.
Can I exercise more?
There is no longer any limit to the amount of time you can spend outside doing exercise, or in “open-air recreation” like sunbathing in England and, from Friday, in Scotland.
Currently, you can play outdoor sports such as golf or tennis with members of your household or with one other person from another household (while maintaining social distance).
From Monday, people in England will also be able to exercise outside with up to five others from different households. That means small groups of sport teams can resume fitness sessions, but social distancing must be maintained.
In Scotland, outdoor activities where physical distancing can be maintained can resume from Friday. This includes golf, tennis, bowls and fishing.
Households can also drive any distance in England to destinations such as parks and beaches. But they should not travel to Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, where the rules are different.
Why are rules different in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland?
Decisions on easing lockdown in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are the responsibility of each national government.
However, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced the lifting of some lockdown measures in the country from 29 May.
As well as meeting people from one other household outside, people will also be able to sit or sunbathe in parks and open areas.
It will also be possible to travel – preferably by walking or cycling – for recreation, although people will be asked to remain “where possible” within or close to their own local area.
Should I go back to work (and how will I get there)?
People who can work from home in England should continue to do so “for the foreseeable future”.
But the government says those who can’t, should travel to their workplace if it is open – and walk, cycle or drive if at all possible, to prevent overcrowding on public transport.
What if I go into other people’s homes to work?
If you’re a cleaner or plumber, and need to enter someone else’s home for your job, you are allowed to return to work.
No work should be carried out in the home of someone shielding or isolating because of Covid-19 symptoms, unless it’s a household emergency.
In homes where someone is clinically vulnerable – for example, where a person is aged over 70 – face-to-face contact should be avoided, and strict hygiene rules followed.
What are shielded people being told to do?
People in England and Wales who have been asked to stay at home and shield will be able to spend some time outdoors again from Monday 1 June, while continuing to follow social distancing rules. These people all have health conditions that make them particularly vulnerable to coronavirus.
It means those with families will be able to go out once a day with members of their household. People living alone can meet someone from another household while maintaining social distancing – keeping 2 metres apart.
Other parts of the UK have not yet recommended the same.
Can I move home?
House moves and viewings can resume again in England.
Potential buyers and renters will be able to visit show homes and view houses on the market to let or buy.
Anyone who has already bought a new home can visit it to prepare for moving in.
What about childminders, nannies and nurseries?
Childminders and nannies in England have now been told they can return to work – but only if they’re caring for youngsters who come from the same household.
During lockdown, registered childminders have either been closed or providing care for vulnerable children or children of key workers.
The government has said it would like pre-school nurseries in England to start reopening from 1 June.
When will schools and universities return?
The government’s ambition is for all primary school children in England to return to school before the summer for a month if feasible.
In England, pupils in nurseries, early years and Reception and Years 1 and 6 at primary schools will be able to return from 1 June.
Class sizes are expected to be no more than 15 pupils, with staggered breaks and frequent hand washing.
From 15 June, the government says secondary schools and further education colleges will be able to have face-to-face contact with Year 10 and 12 pupils who have key exams next year, in addition to their “continued remote, home learning”.
Meanwhile, there is uncertainty over whether students will be able to go to university in person in September or whether they will be taught partially or completely online. The university watchdog says new students must be told with “absolute clarity” how they will be taught before accepting a place.
- The government in Wales has ruled out schools reopening on 1 June
- Scotland‘s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said that children will return to school on 11 August.
- Some pupils in Northern Ireland will return to school in August
When can I go High Street shopping again?
All non-essential retailers – from department stores to small independent shops – can reopen in England from 15 June, if they put in place social distancing measures.
And outdoor markets and car showrooms can reopen from 1 June, if they are “Covid-secure”.
But the government has said these dates could change if coronavirus infection rates increase.
Garden centres have already reopened in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
They are now due to reopen in Scotland.
DIY chains – some of which stayed open throughout the lockdown – have also reopened many of their shops.
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