Health and acces to services
Education and childcare
On 17 May, some of the rules on what you can and cannot do will change. However, many restrictions remain in place.
Can different households now mix indoors as well as outdoors?
Yes, indoor gatherings are limited to 6 people or 2 households (each household can include a support bubble, if eligible). if you are meeting friends and family, you can make a personal choice on whether to keep your distance from them, but you should still be cautious. You should also make sure the space is well ventilated, open doors and windows. Outdoor gatherings will be limited to 30 people.
Will I be allowed to go to the pub?
Yes, indoor hospitality venues such as restaurants, pubs, bars and cafes can reopen for you to be able to sit inside.
Can I attend an indoor gym class?
Yes, organised indoor sport will be able to take place for all (this includes gym classes). This must be organised by a business, charity or public body and the organizer must take reasonable measures to reduce the risk of transmission.
How can I ensure my friends and family are safe?
As we proceed down the roadmap and as vaccination protects more of the population, the emphasis will shift from government rules to personal responsibility. So instead of instructing you to stay 2m apart away from anyone you don’t live with, you will be encouraged to exercise caution and consider the risks.
- Meeting outside where possible.
- Making sure the space is well ventilated if you do meet inside. Open windows and doors, or take other action to let in plenty of fresh air.
- Taking the vaccine when you are offered it, and encourage others to as well.
- Minimising how many people you’re in close contact with, and for how long.
- Getting tested twice a week, even if you don’t have symptoms.
- Isolating immediately if you develop symptoms and not attending social gatherings until you have been tested and acquired a negative result.
- Washing your hands and cleaning surfaces regularly to remove virus particles.
What changes will take place in terms of funerals, weddings and other significant events?
Funeral attendance will no longer be limited to 30 people, but will be determined by how many people the COVID-secure venue can safely accommodate with social distancing.
Limits at weddings, wakes and other commemorative events will be increased to 30 people. Other significant life events, such as bar/bat mitzvahs and christenings, will also be able to take place with 30 people.
What changes will take place for care home residents in terms of visitors?
The rules for care home residents visiting out and receiving visitors will change, allowing up to five named visitors (two at any one time), provided visitors test negative for COVID-19.
Residents will no longer need to quarantine on return to their home after venturing out.
Which businesses will reopen on 17 May?
Providing COVID-secure measures are in place, the following indoor entertainment and attractions will reopen:
· Concert halls
· Museums and galleries
· Adventure playgrounds and activities
· Amusement arcades and adult gaming centres
· Bingo halls
· Bowling alleys
· Skating rinks
· Games, recreation and entertainment venues such as escape rooms and laser quest
· Play areas (including soft play centre and inflatable parks)
· Model villages
· Snooker and pool halls
· Trampolining parks
· Water and aqua parks
· Indoor visitor attractions at theme parks and film studios
· Indoor attractions at zoos, safari parks, aquariums and other animal attractions
· Indoor attractions at botanical gardens, greenhouses and biomes
· Indoor attractions at sculpture parks
· Indoor attractions at landmarks including observation wheels or viewing platforms
· Indoor attractions at stately or historic homes, castles, or other heritage sites
· Conference centres and exhibition halls, including for the purposes of business events.
People will also be able to attend indoor and outdoor events, including:
· Live performances
· Sporting events
· Business events
Attendance at these events will be capped according to venue type, and attendees should follow the COVID-secure measures set out by those venues.
How can we ensure that we don’t go into another lockdown now that shops and businesses have reopened?
Keep getting tested regularly, even if you don’t have symptoms, so you don’t spread the virus without knowing it.
Continue to follow social distancing when not with friends and family including in workplaces, shops, pubs, restaurants and other settings.
Health and access to services
I’ve had my COVID19 vaccination, do the guidelines still apply to me?
Yes, to help protect yourself and your friends, family, and community you should continue to follow all social distancing guidance even if you’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19.
The vaccines have been shown to reduce the likelihood of severe illness in most people. Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective, so those who have received the vaccine should continue to take recommended precautions to avoid infection.
We do not know by how much the vaccine stops COVID-19 from spreading. Even if you have been vaccinated, you could still spread COVID-19 to others.
What changes have taken place in terms of shielding?
The clinically extremely vulnerable are no longer advised to shield. However, you could be at higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus so you should continue to follow the guidance for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable and are advised to take additional precautions to protect yourself.
It is important that you continue to keep the number of social interactions that you have low and try to limit the amount of time you spend in settings where you are unable to maintain social distancing.
Can I attend routine appointments?
Yes, the NHS and medical services remain open, including:
- Dental services
- Audiology services
- Other medical or health services, including services relating to mental health.
The NHS continues to carry out urgent and non-urgent services safely. It is vital anyone who thinks they need any kind of medical care comes forward and seeks help.
Can I go to work?
You should continue to work from home where you can.
If you cannot work from home you should continue to travel to your workplace. This includes, but is not limited to, people who work in:
- Critical National Infrastructure
- Childcare or Education
- Essential Public Services
- Essential retail, such as supermarkets and pharmacies
You do not need to be classed as a critical worker to go to work if you cannot work from home.
Employers and employees should discuss their working arrangements, and employers should take every possible step to facilitate their employees working from home, including providing suitable IT and equipment to enable remote working.
Where people cannot work from home, employers should take steps to make their workplaces COVID-19 secure and help employees avoid busy times and routes on public transport. Extra consideration should be given to those people at higher risk.
COVID-secure guidelines are available for sectors across the economy to substantially reduce the risk of transmission.
You can gather in larger groups or meet indoors where it is necessary for your work. This does not include social gatherings.
My job entails working in people’s homes, am I allowed to do this?
Where it is reasonably necessary for you to work in other people’s homes you can continue to do so, for example if you’re a:
- Social Care Worker providing support to children and families
Can the clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) group now go to work?
If you have been identified as being clinically extremely vulnerable and you cannot work from home, you should go to work. Your employer is required to take steps to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace and should be able to explain to you the measures they have put in place to keep you safe at work. Some employers may introduce regular testing of employees as part of these measures. You may also want to consider how you get to and from work, for example, if it is possible to avoid using public transport during rush hour.
If you live with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable then you can continue to attend work if you are unable to work from home.
Can I car share with my work colleagues?
Car-sharing with people from other households is no longer illegal from step 3 although you should avoid unless necessary.
To ensure safe travel:
- Plan ahead and travel safely.
- Check before you travel.
- As restrictions ease, transport services and roads are likely to be busier so please plan ahead.
- On your journey, open a window to increase ventilation, where possible.
Has the furlough scheme been extended?
Yes, the furlough scheme, for all sectors has been extended until 30 September 2021, with employer contributions gradually increasing from 1 July 2021.
The extension means that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will remain in place for several months after the planned full reopening of the economy in England on 21 June 2021 and will have been in place for a total of 18 months by the time that it closes.
Education and childcare
Will school children still be required to wear face coverings?
No, face coverings in classrooms will no longer be required – or for students in communal areas in secondary schools and colleges.
Can all students now attend University face to face?
Yes, all higher education students will be able to access in-person teaching.
It is recommended that they should be tested twice a week to ensure immediate self-isolation if required.
What changes will take place in terms of parent and child and support groups?
Support groups and parent and child group gathering limits will increase to 30 people (not including under 5s)
Can I travel within Britain?
Yes, you can now travel anywhere in Britain, car-sharing with people from other households is also no longer illegal from step 3.
If you need to travel via public transport:
- Plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes.
- Regularly wash or sanitise your hands
- Wear a face covering on public transport, unless exempt
- Stay 2 meters apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 meter with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings or increasing ventilation indoors)
Can I stay overnight somewhere other than my own address?
Yes, all holiday accommodation will reopen, including hostels, hotels and B&B’s and you will be able to travel within Britain and stay overnight.
This can be used by groups of up to 6 or 2 households (each household can include a support bubble, if eligible).
Can I travel internationally?
There will no longer be a legal restriction or permitted reason required to travel internationally.
There will be a traffic light system for international travel, and you must follow the rules when returning to England depending on whether you return from a red, amber or green list country.
For more information on red, amber and green listed countries visit: