Easter Covid lockdown rules: What you can and can’t do over the UK bank holiday

Easter Covid lockdown rules: What you can and can’t do over the UK bank holiday

March 31, 2021

BRITS rejoiced as the great unlocking of Britain took a huge step on March 29 – just in time for the Easter Holiday long weekend.

And now with four days free from work ahead, families and friends will be keen to make the most of the Bank Holiday.

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So what CAN you do for Easter after restrictions were eased on March 29?

Outdoor meet-ups

The rule of six was re-introduced from Monday, allowing six people or less – or two households – to mix outdoors.

And now under the new rules, small gatherings in private gardens will be permitted – just in time for Easter over the April 4 weekend.

However, Brits should make sure to only gather outside while following social distancing guidelines for any events as the lockdown begins to ease.

Keen sun-seekers have already started making the most of the relaxed restrictions this week as temperatures soared to a sweltering 24C.

Cooped-up Brits packed beaches and parks as the UK recorded its hottest March in 50 years.

However some cities, including Nottingham, have been forced to close parks as crowds descended into chaos.

The balmy temperatures that marked the start of the great unlocking look unlikely to last though, with snow even predicted to fall over Easter weekend.

Sports

Outdoor team sports and activities, such as tennis and golf, have now also returned, with people able to head to their local sports clubs again.

Tennis and basketball courts are allowed to reopen, along with open-air swimming pools.

And in good news for sports, Brits will again be able to start taking part in formally organised outdoor sports events like amateur football leagues.

But indoor facilities like gyms won't be open until at least April 12.

Loo-phole

Despite the strict rules, there are some loopholes.

And Brits can even go inside other homes – but only briefly to use the toilet, get a drink or walk through to the garden. The same rule will apply to toilets when pub gardens reopen in April.

There are still rules in place – people must socially distance from each other, and meeting indoors is still banned.

The Prime Minister also ditched the 'stay at home' rule, which ended on Monday

Travel

The stay-at-home message was also ditched on March 29 and Brits are simply told to "minimise travel".

It means the public are advised to meet up with friends and family locally – but it will not be illegal to travel to see relatives outdoors further afield.

Sadly, travel abroad is still not allowed, other than for a small number of reasons.

Parent and children groups

Outdoor parent and child groups were also able to resume from Monday.

A maximum of 15 people, not counting those aged under five, are now permitted to meet for outdoor activities.

For example, people can socialise in parent and child walking groups.

What you can't do

Indoors facilities like gyms won't be open until at least April 12.

April 12 will see the first major easing of restrictions with non-essential shops and hairdressers to reopen and restrictions on people's travel will be further relaxed.

Hairdressers will also be open by April 12, along with zoos and theme parks.

People desperate for a pint will have to wait until April 12 but a loopholemeans pubs without a beer garden will still be able to open to serve pints to thirsty Brits.

Downing Street confirmed punters will be able to enjoy a drink at venues without a garden because they can be served in any outdoor area, such as a carpark.

Kids already returned to school, but the most recent phase of Boris Johnson's plan to unlock the UK began on Monday as temperatures soared.

Each step on the road out of lockdown will take place providing the vaccine programme continues successfully, no new variants of concern emerge, there is no sign of a surge in hospitalisations and the jabs are working.

And in a vote of confidence so far, almost half of the population has been vaccinated, with cases continuing to drop.

And Boris Johnson insisted vaccine passports might not come in until AFTER everyone has been offered a jab – and the plans won't stop pubs opening outside in April as planned.

And a few weeks later, on May 17, many indoor restrictions are expected to be lifted.

All restrictions are expected to be lifted by June 21.


 

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