September 27, 2020

Coronavirus lockdown: All you need to know about new measures

Woman having haircut Image copyright Getty Images

Many aspects of the coronavirus lockdown have eased in England.

Meanwhile in Scotland, the five-mile travel limit has now been lifted with more restrictions expected to be reduced later in the month.

Travel restrictions in Wales have now been lifted.

Hospitality and holidays

Hotels, pubs and restaurants in England and Northern Ireland that serve food and have table service can now reopen, as can beer gardens and outdoor restaurants in Scotland. In Wales they can open outdoors from 13 July and indoors from 3 August. They 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 – have 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 can reopen in Scotland from 15 July. In Wales, self-contained accommodation can reopen on 11 July, with campsites opening on 25 July.

Travellers from more than 50 countries including France, Spain, 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.

People in Scotland can travel to almost all of those countries without having to self-isolate on returning, but not Spain.

Can I finally get a haircut?

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Media captionCoronavirus: What salons will look like post-lockdown

Hairdressers are now open again in England and Northern Ireland and will open on 13 July in Wales and 15 July in Scotland. They will also have to take safety precautions.

You will probably have to make an appointment, not turn up early, try to bring nothing with you, and wear a mask and gown while in the chair.

Other places allowed to reopen in England include:

In Northern Ireland, nail salons and tattoo parlours have now reopened. They will reopen on 13 July in England and 27 July in Wales.

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 will reduce its distancing rule to 1m with restrictions.

The 2m rule has been eased to 1m in Scotland in shops and on transport.

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.

Meeting other households

In 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 are “shielding” can now gather in groups of up to six people outdoors, including individuals outside of their household, and form a “support bubble” with one other household.

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.

What will remain closed in England?

  • Nightclubs
  • Bowling alleys
  • Indoor skating rinks
  • Indoor play areas including soft play
  • Conference centres

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