- Coronavirus pandemic
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Some Covid restrictions in England will stay in place for now, the government has confirmed.
It had hoped to "remove all legal limits on social contact" from 21 June. That's been put back until 19 July – although a review will take place in two weeks.
What's been announced?
The delay is because of concerns over the Delta variant of Covid, which has caused an acceleration in cases.
The government said more time is needed to vaccinate people before remaining rules can be lifted.
What are England's remaining Covid restrictions?
A number of restrictions which were expected to be lifted, will remain in place for the moment:
- Limits on the number of people who can mix indoors and outdoors
- Pubs, clubs, theatres and cinemas still have to operate within capacity limits
- Limited numbers of people allowed to attend sports events
- Nightclubs remain closed
Ministers still have to consider the findings of reviews on face coverings and social distancing before deciding when all limits could be lifted.
- Lockdown lifting – the four key numbers
- Why June 21 lockdown easing may have to wait
What am I allowed to do at the moment?
Exact rules may vary between nations and – in Scotland – between areas:
- Pubs, cafes, bars and restaurants can reopen indoors
- Holiday accommodation has reopened
- Cinemas, amusement arcades and bingo halls can open
- Indoor visitor attractions, including museums and galleries, can open
- Leisure centres, gyms and swimming pools can reopen and indoor group exercise is allowed (with limits)
- Outdoor contact sports are allowed
- Travel around the UK is allowed, and some international travel can resume (in line with the traffic light system)
- Care home residents can receive visitors
- Wedding receptions and funeral wakes can take place
- Some outdoor events – including concerts and sports fixtures – can take place in front of an audience
Postcode check: How are the rules changing for you?
Who can I meet at the moment?
Rules vary for each UK nation:
- In England, groups of up to 30 can meet outdoors and six people or two households can meet indoors (and stay overnight)
- In Wales, three households can form an extended household and mix in private homes; up to 30 people can meet outdoors in a public place or private garden
- In Northern Ireland, up to six people from two households can meet in private homes (under-13s not counted towards total) and overnight stays are allowed; up to 15 people (including children) from no more than three households can meet outdoors, including in private gardens
image copyrightGetty Imagesimage captionLoch Lomond – whee up to 12 people can now meet outside
Rules are more complicated in Scotland.
Glasgow is now at Covid protection level two, along with 13 other areas – Edinburgh, Midlothian, Dundee, East Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, North Ayrshire, South Ayrshire, East Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, Clackmannanshire and Stirling.
In these areas:
- Groups of six from a maximum of three households can meet in private and public indoor spaces (and stay overnight)
- Eight people from eight households can meet outdoors
Some districts have moved to Covid protection level one (down from level two) – Highland, Argyll and Bute, Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Moray, Angus, Perth and Kinross, Falkirk, Fife, Inverclyde, East Lothian, West Lothian, West Dunbartonshire, Dumfries and Galloway and the Borders.
The rules for meeting are:
- Six people from a maximum of three households can meet in a private home (and stay overnight)
- Up to eight people from three households can meet in an indoor public place like a cafe, pub or restaurant (indoors until 23:00, outdoors subject to local licensing rules)
- 12 people from 12 households can meet outdoors
Shetland, Orkney, the Western Isles and a number of remote islands are now at level zero (down from level one).
The rules for these areas include:
- Up to eight people from four households can meet inside in a private home (and stay overnight)
- Up to 10 people from four households can meet in an indoor public place like a cafe, pub or restaurant
- Up to 15 people from 15 households can meet outdoors
In all levels, children under the age of 12 are not included in the total number of people – but they are counted in the limit on the number of different households.
Travellers to and from Scottish islands are encouraged to take two rapid lateral flow tests before departure.
What about areas with high numbers of Indian/Delta variant cases?
The government has updated guidance for people in eight areas of England – Greater Manchester, Blackburn with Darwen, Lancashire (area covered by Lancashire County Council). Kirklees, Bedford, Leicester, Hounslow and North Tyneside.
In these places, "wherever possible, you should try to":
- meet friends and family outside
- keep 2m (6ft) apart from people you don't live or bubble with
- minimise travel in and out of affected areas
What about dates in the rest of the UK?
Timetables vary for the easing of rules.
In Northern Ireland, 21 June has been given as an "indicative date" for a number of changes (subject to 17 June review):
- Ten people from two households can meet in private homes
- If a household has more than six members, the number of adults indoors can be up to 15
- Up to 15 people from any number households can meet outdoors in a private garden
- Household bubbles (linked households) set to end
- Live music in hospitality venues allowed at "ambient levels", no dancing
- Theatres reopen and concerts restart – subject to Covid-safety measures
Lockdown measures in Wales will be reviewed on 21 June.
The whole of Scotland is due to move to level zero, the lowest level of restrictions, on 28 June – but the prevalence of the Delta variant, first detected in India, may delay that.
- LOCKDOWN LOOK-UP: The rules in your area
- SOCIAL DISTANCING: What are the rules now?
- SUPPORT BUBBLES: What are they and who can be in yours?
- FACE MASKS: When do I need to wear one?
- TESTING: How do I get a virus test?