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Third stage of lockdown easing underway

Hugging loved ones, indoor gatherings and trips to the cinema are amongst some of the things people across England have been enjoying this week after further easing of lockdown restrictions began on Monday (17th May.)


The Prime Minister pushed ahead with the third stage of easing the national lockdown measures despite concerns over the Indian variant being present in some areas of the country.


So what are the new rules?


· Gathering limits have been eased. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 30 people and indoor gatherings are limited to 6 people or 2 households.


· Indoor entertainment and attractions such as cinemas, theatres, casinos, museums and children’s indoor play areas are now permitted to open with COVID-secure measures in place.


· People can attend indoor and outdoor events, including live performances, sporting events and business events. The number of attendees will be capped according to venue type.


· Indoor hospitality venues such as restaurants, pubs, bars and cafes can reopen.


· Organised indoor sport can take place for everyone, including gym classes.


· All holiday accommodation can open, including hotels and B&Bs and can be used by groups of up to 6 or 2 households.


· Funeral attendance is 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 have been 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.


· The rules for care home residents visiting out and receiving visitors have changed, allowing up to five named visitors (two at any one time), provided visitors test negative for COVID-19.


· All higher education students are able to access in-person teaching.

· Support groups and parent and child group gathering limits have been increased to 30 people (not including under 5s)


· There is no longer a legal restriction or permitted reason required to travel internationally. A traffic light system for international travel has been introduced, and you must follow the rules when returning to England depending on whether you return from a red, amber or green list country.


Boris Johnson called this stage ‘the single biggest step on our roadmap.’


“It will allow us to do many of the things we’ve yearned to do for a long time,” he said. “So let’s protect these gains by continuing to exercise caution and common sense.”

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