These are all the Covid-19 restrictions that are changing across England from today

Monday, 12th April 2021, 8:52 am
This is how restrictions are changing around the UK (Photo: Matthew Horwood/Ben Stansall/Jeff J Mitchell/Polly Thomas/Getty Images)
This is how restrictions are changing around the UK (Photo: Matthew Horwood/Ben Stansall/Jeff J Mitchell/Polly Thomas/Getty Images)

Across the UK, Covid-19 restrictions are being eased and lifted at different rates - while today marks a slew of changes occurring in England, the same cannot be said for the rest of the country.

This is everything you need to know about the restrictions changing from Monday 12 April, and what is happening in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

How are the restrictions changing in England?

From Monday 12 April, non-essential shops, hairdressers, nail salons, libraries and outdoor hospitality venues like beer gardens will all be allowed to open.

Other outdoor attractions, such as zoos and theme parks, can also reopen, however wider social distancing rules will still apply in order to prevent indoor mixing between different households.

Gyms and swimming pools will also reopen for the use of people on their own or in household groups.

Up to 30 people will be able to attend a funeral, and the number of people able to attend weddings, receptions and commemorative events such as wakes will increase from six to 15.

Outdoor sporting facilities such as tennis and basketball courts will be able to reopen, with organised adult and children’s sports, including grassroots football, also permitted to resume.

Overseas travel remains banned and people are still being asked to work from home where possible.

What are the next steps for England?

From no earlier than 17 May, most social contact rules outdoors will be lifted, although gatherings of more than 30 will remain illegal.

Indoors, the rule of six or two households will still apply, although the Government has said it will keep under review whether it is safe to increase this.

Indoor hospitality, entertainment venues such as cinemas and soft play areas, the rest of the accommodations sector, and indoor adult group sports and exercise classes will also reopen. Limited crowds will also be permitted at sporting events.

From 21 June, all remaining restrictions on social contact could be lifted, which would allow for larger events to go ahead and for nightclubs to reopen.

The Government has said that there will be a minimum of five weeks between each set of restrictions easing in order to allow time to assess any impacts on public health.

Are any restrictions easing in Scotland?

Scotland has already seen some restrictions be lifted, with more still to come however no restrictions are set to be lifted on Monday 12 April.

Hairdressers and barbers were able to reopen from last week for pre-booked appointments, click and collect shopping has resumed and homeware shops and garden centres are also able to welcome back customers.

In person teaching and outdoor sport has also resumed for 12 to 17 year olds.

What is next for Scotland?

Lockdown restrictions in Scotland are expected to ease further from 26 April, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon due to announce more details in the coming weeks.

Under current plans, cafes, restaurants, shops and gyms are due to open, with more people to be allowed to meet up outdoors.

Libraries, museums, galleries, gyms and pools will also be allowed to reopen.

There are also plans to allow some household mixing from 17 May, with the Scottish government saying that “it is hoped” that groups of four people from two households will be allowed to socialise indoors in a private home.

Cinemas and amusement arcades could be allowed to reopen as well with limits on capacity, as well as the resumption of small scale indoor and outdoor events, such as contact sports for adults and indoor group exercise.

What are the rules in Wales?

Similarly to England, lockdown restrictions across Wales will also change from Monday 12 April.

Close contact services such as hairdressers and non-essential shops will be permitted to open, as well as students returning to school. University undergraduates are also set to return to campuses, although some online learning will continue.

Residents can now also take trips outside of Wales, but journeys to countries outside of the Common Travel area - the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and Ireland - without a reasonable excuse are still banned.

What happens next for Wales?

From 26 April, outdoor hospitality such as cafes, pubs and restaurants are due to reopen. On the same date, organised outdoor activities for up to 30 people and wedding receptions for up to 30 people will be permitted outdoors, which is a week earlier than previously announced.

The Welsh government announced that it would also lift restrictions on household mingling earlier than planned on 3 May instead of 10 May, following a larger than expected drop in Covid-19 cases.

The reopening of gyms and leisure centres has also been brought forward to 3 May, including for one to one training, although group exercise classes remain banned.

All of these dates are “subject to the public health situation remaining favourable” and will be confirmed at a review of Covid-19 regulations on 22 April, the Welsh government has said.

After 17 May, the Welsh government will consider reopening indoor hospitality and remaining visitor accommodation to reopen in advance of the spring bank holiday.

It is likely that children’s indoor activities, community centres, and organised indoor activities for adults for up to 15 people will also resume from 17 May.

What’s going on in Northern Ireland?

From Monday 12 April, the number of people who can meet outdoors in a garden, including children, will increase from six to 10.

The “stay at home” messaging is to be replaced with a “stay local” and “work from home” message.

Outdoor sports training will be allowed for recognised clubs, in groups of up to 15, provided all indoor facilities except toilets remain closed.

The remainder of post-primary students, years eight to 11, will return to schools - after all other classes resumed before Easter break.

Outdoor retail, such as car dealerships and garden centres will reopen, with click and collect services also able to return.

Those planning weddings will be able to view potential venues for ceremonies at a limit of up to four people. The number of people able to attend such ceremonies will also increase, at a level informed by a risk assessment for the venue.

A version of this article originally appeared on our sister site National World