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Lockdown easing explained: What you need to know

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Photo by Adam Nieścioruk on Unsplash.

Social distancing rules are changing in England this week, so we've put together this at-a-glance list of things you need to know.

This information is up-to-date on 4 July 2020, but things could change again if more outbreaks happen, including 'local lockdowns' for specific areas.

For any changes to the rules, read the Government website or listen for announcements. For anything related to health, visit NHS England or call 111.

Please Remember!

  • The Government is talking about a '1 metre plus' rule for social distancing to help businesses reopen, but it's always better to keep 2 metres away from anyone you don't live with wherever possible. This means there is less chance of coronavirus spreading.
  • It's really important that we ease lockdown sensibly. The coronavirus pandemic is not over and everyone has their part to play to keep it under control. This includes always thinking about what we do and how it could cause the virus to spread.

Changes from 4 July

What is reopening?

  • Pubs, bars, restaurants, cafes, hotels, libraries, cinemas, hairdressers and barbers, campsites, libraries, social clubs, outdoor gyms and places of worship (although singing is not allowed due to the risk of spread).
  • Some shops have been allowed to open since 15 June, but more can now open with the '1 metre plus' rule in place.

What is staying closed for now?

  • Gyms, theatres (for live performance), indoor sports and swimming facilities, beauty salons, soft play areas, cricket clubs, nightclubs and live music venues.

What are the rules for social distancing?

  • If you are inside, you can be up to 1 metre away from people from one other household, as long as there is protection in place, like screens, face masks or space for hand washing.

    You should still always try to keep 2 metres away from other people where you can.

  • If you are outside, you can meet up to five people from more than two households, sticking to the '1 metre plus' rule.
  • Anyone who has joined your 'support bubble' (for example, someone who lives on their own) is considered part of your household.

Can I go on holiday?

  • Holidays inside England are allowed and you can visit one other household to stay overnight, as long as you socially distance.
  • There are no limits on how far you can travel inside England, but there are different rules in Scotland and Wales.
  • Holidays to other countries are not possible yet.

Changes for 'Shielding' People

The Government has said that rules for people who are 'shielding' because they are at high-risk if they get coronavirus - for example, due to an existing health condition - are being relaxed in two stages, on 6 July and 1 August.

From 6 July, if you are 'shielding'

  • You can meet up to five people from other households, with social distancing.
  • You don't need to socially distance from people you live with.
  • If you are a single adult household, you can set up a 'support bubble' with one other household, which means you can spend time in that household and stay overnight without needing to social distance. You can only do this with one household.

From 1 August

Advice to shield will be paused from 1 August. This means:

  • You can go to work, if you can't work from home.
  • You can go to the shops, to a place of worship, or outside to exercise - as long as you keep up strict social distancing.
  • Children who are 'clinically extremely vulnerable' can go back to their place of education. They should wash their hands often and keep up social distancing.

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