England gets ready to ease COVID-19 restrictions

Starting March 8, various restrictions aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 will gradually be lifted. The process is planned in four phases. JuRuss member Vladislav Zabrodin presents a brief overview of the approximate dates and affected restrictions below, subject to change if and as needed as the situation develops.


March 8. In-person studies to resume in schools and colleges.

March 29. Small outdoor gatherings allowed for either 6 people or 2 households. Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts, and open-air swimming pools, will be allowed to reopen. The ‘stay at home’ rule ends, but recommendations remain to work from home and minimize travel. Travel abroad still generally prohibited (with a few exceptions).


April 12 at the earliest. Non-essential retail will reopen, including beauty salons, libraries, community buildings, indoor gyms, outdoor attractions (zoo, theme park, drive-in cinema). Other easing, such as hospitality venues being allowed to serve people outdoors, and no curfew, but ‘table service’ only. Funeral attendance stays at 30 people, but weddings, receptions and wakes will now allow 15 people.


May 17 at the earliest. Continued easing of limits on seeing friends and family. Most restrictions for outdoor meetings to be lifted, though the 6-person / 2-household rule will remain. Advice on social distancing to be updated between friends and family, including hugging. Most businesses allowed to reopen, except highest risk ones. Indoor hospitality to reopen, subject to certain rules. Indoor performances to be allowed, with a limit of 1,000 people or half-full. Outdoor performances allowed with a limit of 4,000 people or half-full. Up to 30 people allowed at weddings, receptions, wakes and funerals.


June 21 at the earliest. Remaining premises to reopen, including nightclubs, and restrictions on large events and performances that apply in Step 3 are to be eased. This, as the other steps, is subject to careful review of the situation and certain pilot events.

Stay healthy and safe. This all will pass.

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