Monday (March 29), saw the second stage of the Government’s ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown come into effect, following the return of all children to schools on March 8.
Outdoor gatherings, including in private gardens, of either six people or two households are now allowed again, meaning families separated for months are able to reunite. Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts and open-air swimming pools can now reopen and people can take part in formally organised outdoor sports. The ‘stay at home’ rule has ended, but people should continue to work from home where they can and minimise the number of journeys they make, avoiding travel at the busiest times and on busy routes. Travel abroad remains prohibited, other than for a small number of permitted reasons and holidays abroad will not be allowed. Hospitality businesses such as pubs will remain closed, as will non-essential retail and personal care businesses like hairdressers and nail salons. Leisure centres and gyms will still be closed, as will public buildings such as libraries and community centres. Outdoor attractions will also still be shut, including zoos, theme parks and drive-in cinemas. The earliest date these restrictions could be lifted is April 12, depending on the spread of the virus in the UK. The Government has launched a new taskforce to review global travel, which will report on April 12. Further stages in the roadmap will arrive on May 17, at the earliest, when huge numbers of restrictions could be relaxed. The final stage, which will essentially see society return to normality with some distancing and hygiene measures still in place, could happen on June 21.