May 17 will mark the start of ‘Step 3’ of the Government’s roadmap plan for easing lockdown, which was first outlined by the Prime Minister in February this year. Decisions to move through the roadmap plan are subject to four tests, including the ongoing success of the vaccination programme and the assessment of the risks not be “fundamentally changed” by new variants of concern. Based on the four tests, the Government has deemed the current coronavirus situation as suitable for relaxing the lockdown rules further on May 17.
What can you do from Monday, May 17?
One major change coming in on May 17 regards social contact, as people will be able to meet indoors for the first time in months.
The ‘rule of six’ means six people, or two households, will be permitted to meet indoors in homes, while people will also be able to stay overnight away from home.
People will also be able to gather in groups, capped at 30 people, in outdoor settings.
People will also be able to hug their loved ones again, but this will be a personal choice.
The limit on guests for weddings, receptions, wakes, bar mitzvahs, christenings and other significant life events will also be increased to 30 people.
Many of the businesses which have been closed for the duration of the third lockdown will be able to reopen from May 17, including swathes of the hospitality industry.
Pubs, bars and restaurants will be able to reopen their indoor settings, meaning people can go for their first meal out inside a restaurant after several months.
Indoor entertainment venues, such as cinemas, children’s play areas and bingo halls, will also be able to reopen from May 17.
Also reopening will be the remaining accommodation sector, which includes hotels, hostels and B&Bs.
The Government will allow some larger performances and sporting events in indoor venues with a capacity of 1,000 people or half-full, whichever is a lower number.
Events in outdoor venues with a capacity of 4,000 people or half-full (whichever is a lower number) will also be permitted.
In large outdoor seated venues, up to 10,000 people will be able to attend events, providing crowds can be spread out.
Travel and leisure
Indoor adult sport, such as tennis, will be permitted to resume from May 17, as will some gym classes.
Foreign travel will also be permitted again from next week.
But each country will be subject to the Government’s traffic light system, with only some countries making it onto the ‘green’ list so far.
Britain is open again so enjoy your pint on Monday – KWASI KWARTENG [COMMENT]
Tens of thousands of venues to celebrate reopening as lockdown eases [INSIGHT]
POLL: As Indian variant surges, should PM put brakes on reopening? [POLL]
While restaurants will be able to reopen fully from May 17, they will be able to offer table service only.
This is also the case for other hospitality venues, such as pubs and bars, so queuing for a pint will still not be permitted.
Although most businesses will be able to reopen from May 17, nightclubs will not be able to reopen at this time.
Nightclubs have been closed throughout the entire lockdown since March 2020.
So nightclub operators are hopeful they will be permitted to reopen on June 21, which is the earliest point Step 4 of the roadmap could be implemented.
Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association, said: “We are pleased that the Government has decided not to veer from the roadmap.
“Nightlife has been pushed to the brink of collapse during the pandemic and cannot afford another lockdown or extension of restrictions.
“We urge the Prime Minister to stay the course, and keep communicating with the hardest hit sectors.”
Some restrictions on large events and performances will remain in place until at least Step 4.
There will also still be remaining restrictions on how many people can attend major life events, such as weddings, from May 17.
From next week, indoor house parties will still be illegal and could result in a hefty fine for organisers and attendees.