Prime Minister Boris Johnson has unveiled the UK government’s three-phase plan to bring the country out of lockdown, outlining a “road map for reopening society”
Following the latest review on 28 May, a number of changes to current rules in England were announced, with restrictions slowly becoming more relaxed.
Family and friends can now meet up in parks and private gardens in groups of up to six people from different households, providing social distancing is maintained, primary schools have started to reopen to some children, and people who have been shielding can now leave the house to spend time with people outdoors.
However, the new guidance only applies in England, as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are adopting their own approach to the next phase of lockdown.
When is the next lockdown review?
A review of lockdown restrictions was initially supposed to be held every three weeks, but ministers have not changed the law to allow them more time to make decisions.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that the review is being extended by a full week in a Written Ministerial Statement on 2 June, meaning decisions on any changes will now be made every 28 days.
In the statement he wrote: “To ensure that we are making future decisions about the lockdown at the right time, the maximum review period will change from 21 days to 28 days.
“This will allow decisions to align more closely with the period of time necessary to assess the impact of previous changes on key data feeds, including the R rate.
“The Government will also keep all the measures under continual review and will account to Parliament on an ongoing basis.”
As such, the next lockdown review in England should take place on Thursday 25 June.
What changes could be made?
The UK is currently in phase two of the lockdown exit plan, with the next review considering the effects of the changes that were introduced from 1 June.
Any further changes to restrictions will then be warranted by the current alert level, and relaxed again if the government considers it safe to do so.
The government expects to enter phase three no earlier than 4 July, with the ambition in this phase to reopen some of the remaining businesses and premises that have been forced to still remain closed.
This will include:
- personal care - such as hairdressers and beauty salons
- hospitality - such as food service providers, pubs and accommodation
- public places - such as places of worship
- leisure facilities - such as cinemas and gyms
Some venues in which it will be difficult to maintain social distancing may still not be allowed to reopen at this point, if it is considered unsafe.
What restrictions are currently in place?
These are the lockdown measures currently in place across the UK’s four nations.
As of 1 June, family and friends in England can meet up in parks and private gardens in groups of up to six people from different households, providing social distancing is maintained.
Outdoor markets and car showrooms can start trading again from 1 June, followed by non-essential shops two weeks later on 15 June.
Non-essential retailers include shops selling clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, books, and electronics, as well as tailors, auction houses, photography studios, and indoor markets.
People who have been shielding can now leave the house to spend time with people outdoors, and day trips to outdoor spaces are also allowed providing you do not stay the night.
Primary schools can also begin to open for pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 from 1 June, and teaching can start for older pupils in Year 10 and Year 12 from 15 June.
As of 29 May, Scots are allowed to meet in groups of eight, outdoors in parks or in private gardens, but such gatherings must only include members of two separate households at a time.
Scots are also allowed to play more outdoor sports and visit garden centres, although people are still being encouraged to “stay at home” as much as possible.
From 1 June, people from two households will be able to meet outdoors, providing they do not travel more than five miles and maintain social distancing.
People who have been shielding can also now exercise outdoors and meet people from another household, but must not enter another house or share food.
There are plans to ease some restrictions from 8 June, including allowing large retail stores to reopen and car showrooms.
Outdoor weddings will be able to take place, but will be limited to fewer people, and pets will be allowed to visit grooming parlours.
Outdoor sport facilities will also be allowed to open.