Lockdown rules are changing: Find out more

  Posted: 17.05.21 at 07:15 by LAYTH YOUSIF @HitchinNubNews

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Lockdown rules are easing in Hitchin and across the country with pubs and restaurants able to serve customers indoors, and social distancing guidelines relaxed.

Indoor hospitality venues will reopen and hugging will be allowed as the country moves to the next step out of coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

Significant parts of the hospitality industry will reopen from today, (Monday, May 17) and people are being advised to use common sense and personal responsibility rather than government rules when it comes to social distancing, after data confirmed the government’s 'four tests' for easing Covid restrictions had been met.

However, the Prime Minister has continued to urge caution, with a surge in the Indian Covid variant in parts of the country meaning he has suggested that the final step out of lockdown, on June 21, is not guaranteed.

Here are the new rules that will be in place:

You should continue to work from home if you can. When travelling within the UK, you should aim to do so safely and plan your journey in advance.

You should get a test and follow the stay at home guidance if you have Covid symptoms.

Gathering limits will be eased. Outdoor gatherings will be limited to 30 people and indoor gatherings will be limited to six people or two households (each household can include a support bubble, if eligible).

New guidance on meeting friends and family will emphasise personal responsibility rather than government rules.

Instead of instructing you to stay 2m apart from anyone you don’t live with, you will be encouraged to exercise caution and consider the guidance on risks associated with Covid and actions you can take to help keep you and your loved ones safe.

Remember that the risks of close contact may be greater for some people than others and in some settings and circumstances, there will be specific guidance that you will need to follow even when you are with friends and family.

Indoor entertainment and attractions such as cinemas, theatres, concert halls, bowling alleys, casinos, amusement arcades, museums and children’s indoor play areas will be permitted to open with Covid-secure measures in place.

People will be able to attend indoor and outdoor events, including live performances, sporting events and business events.

Attendance at these events will be capped according to venue type, and attendees should follow the Covid-secure measures set out by those venues.

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

Organised indoor sport will be able to take place for all (this includes gym classes). This must be organised by a business, charity or public body and the organiser must take reasonable measures to reduce the risk of transmission.

All holiday accommodation will be open (including hotels and B&Bs). This can be used by groups of up to six or two households (each household can include a support bubble, if eligible).

Funeral attendance will 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 will be 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 will change, allowing up to five named visitors (two at any one time), provided visitors test negative for Covid.

All higher education students will be able to access in-person teaching.

Support groups and parent and child group gathering limits will increase to 30 people (not including under-5s).

There will no longer be a legal restriction or permitted reason required to travel internationally.

There will be a traffic light system for international travel, and you must follow the rules when returning to England depending on whether you return from a red, amber or green list country.

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