Many aspects of the coronavirus lockdown have now eased across the UK, but some restrictions have been reintroduced in parts of England, following a rise in the number of coronavirus cases.
What are the latest changes?
Some measures to ease restrictions in England, which were supposed to come into force on 1 August, have now been put back until 15 August at the earliest:
- Indoor venues such as casinos, ice rinks and bowling alleys, which were due to reopen, will remain closed
- Live indoor theatre and concerts, which were due to resume with socially distanced audiences, will not take place
- Pilot sporting events allowing limited numbers of spectators at Goodwood, the Crucible and The Oval, will not go ahead
- Wedding receptions with up to 30 guests cannot yet happen
What are the new restrictions in parts of England?
On 31 July, restrictions were reintroduced for Greater Manchester, east Lancashire and parts of West Yorkshire. People from separate households in these areas are not allowed to mix with each other in their homes or gardens, or in pubs and restaurants. People will only be able to visit such hospitality venues with members of their own household.
What are the rules elsewhere in England?
In all other areas of England, two households are now able to meet indoors or outside, including overnight stays. The two households have to maintain social distancing throughout, unless they are part of the same support bubble.
Indoor meetings of more than two households are not recommended, because of the higher risk of infection. But households can meet with multiple others as long as each meeting is separate. Outdoors, people from multiple households can meet in groups of up to six.
When the changes were announced, it was suggested that two households “of any size” could get together. However, when the rules were introduced a limit of 30 people for any gathering was included.
People who are clinically vulnerable and have been “shielding” have now been told by the government that they do not need to shield for the moment.