Covid lockdown roadmap: key dates when restrictions will end and what rules will change on May 17

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From May 17, groups of up to six people and two households will be allowed to meet indoors, so people can enter each other’s homes.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Feb.23 that loved ones may be able to kiss from mid-May, although people must remain “cautious” until then.

Pubs and restaurants can open indoors from May 17th. There are unlikely to be any strict capacity requirements, but it must be table service.

However, Matt Hancock was sentenced in the High Court on April 6 for justifying why non-essential stores were allowed to open before indoor pub and restaurant spaces. A judge has ordered the health secretary to provide a response by April 19, after the lawsuit was brought by nightclub operator Sacha Lord and former Pizza Express boss Hugh Osmond.

From that date, university students will be able to return to face-to-face teaching on campus, replacing online courses that have been in place for months. However, Universities UK described the wait of an additional month to return as “extremely disappointing”.

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However, universities allow some students to return to campus early for mental health reasons.

Some vice-chancellors have written to undergraduates to point out the exceptional circumstances in which they are allowed to settle at their internship address.

These include ‘inadequate’ study space at home or if their mental health and well-being suffers, according to official guidelines.

Hotels and B & Bs can open at the third stage, as do indoor sports and gym classes.

Entertainment venues may also open, including cinemas and theaters. New rules will be in place for different sizes of sites.

Normal outdoor events can accommodate up to 4000 people or 50% of the venue capacity, whichever is smaller.

Likewise, normal indoor events can accommodate up to 1,000 people or 50% capacity, whichever is lower.

For large outdoor rooms there is a special limit. Up to 10,000 participants will be allowed or 25 percent capacity, whichever is lower.

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This means, for example, that Wembley Stadium will be able to open with 10,000 fans in attendance.

The prime minister confirmed a traffic light system to replace the current blanket ban on non-essential overseas travel, with countries listed as red, amber or green.

The review confirmed that the ban, once lifted, will be replaced with a traffic light system in which home quarantine will be dropped for “green” countries and replaced with tests that holidaymakers will have to pay for before departure. and on their return. Great Britain. The quarantine remains for the “orange” and “red” countries.

The Greek, Spanish and Portuguese islands could be opened early for the summer holidays as part of “traffic light” plans for the resumption of international travel, Grant Shapps said.

The transport secretary said islands with lower Covid rates than the mainland could be granted “green list” status for vacationers to travel there without being quarantined upon their return.

However, travelers wishing to visit countries on the safe ‘green list’ will still have to pay for standard PCR tests on their return to the UK at around £ 120 each – an additional cost of almost £ 500 for a family of four. people. .

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But after Covid testing companies were accused of profiting from fees that could add up to £ 1,000 to the cost of a family of four’s summer vacation, the government was considering exempting PCR testing from VAT, which means the cost could be lower. £ 50 per test.

People who have been fully vaccinated will still be required to take PCR tests on or before the second day of their return to the UK due to government concerns that ‘green list’ countries may still harbor new variants. of Covid.

Holidaymakers will only be able to return if they test negative within 72 hours of departure and will also need to take at least one test after arriving in England.

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