May Bank Holiday lockdown rules explained – Everything you can and can't do this weekend
THE May Bank Holiday is set to be a scorcher with temperatures soaring to 24C – perfect for enjoying lockdown freedom.
Here is everything you can and can't do while enjoying three days off in the sun.
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With Boris Johnson easing restrictions earlier this month, there are plenty of ways to spend your weekend.
Brits can drink in the outdoor areas of pubs and bars in groups of up to 30, while the Rule of Six applies for indoor pints and dining.
Social distancing must still be adhered to with anyone outside of your group, but thankfully last year's 10pm curfew has been scrapped.
The dreaded scotch egg 'substantial meal' fiasco is also not in place, so punters can head out for a just a drink if they want.
However, all customers must remain seated while inside or outside the pub, unless visiting the toilet, or arriving or leaving.
Table service also remains in place, with no drinks available for purchase directly from the bar.
Many venues are asking customers to buy drinks and food through apps to reduce social contact.
It comes as…
- Thousands descend on London’s Chinatown after ‘vaccine bus’ promises jabs without appointments, NHS number or ID
- Next Indian variant hotspots identified by Covid symptom app – as strain now dominant
- Next 7 days will be crucial to see if Covid jabs can stop surge of Indian variant triggering third wave
- Boris Johnson casts fresh doubt on June 21 freedom day as Hancock says ‘too early to tell’ if unlocking can go ahead
- Dominic Cummings claims Boris Johnson was briefed on allegations Covid leaked from a Wuhan lab in April 2020
- New Thai Covid variant detected in UK as cases of Indian variant double in a week
Every pub-goer must check in with the NHS Covid app to get a pint.
Under the rules, all punters must be contact-traced via the app or by giving their contact details so they be informed if they come into contact with someone who later tests positive for the virus.
As well as pubs, facilities such as hairdressers, beauty and nail salons, and indoor leisure like gyms and spas are also open.
Booking is advised, and in some cases mandatory, and people must continue to social distance while inside.
Indoor exercise classes are back on, and those less active can head to cinemas and museums.
And if you're reuniting with friends and family for the first time in months this weekend, you can finally meet inside in groups of up to six, or two households.
You can also finally give pals and relatives a hug, with close contact permitted between family members and friends.
What is open for the bank holiday weekend?
All essential and non-essential retailers:
- Clothing shops
- Homeware shops
- Toy shops
- Vehicle showrooms (other than for rental)
- Betting shops
- Tobacco and vape shops
- Electronic goods shops
- Mobile phone shops
- Auction houses (except for auctions of livestock or agricultural equipment)
- Market stalls selling non-essential goods
Other businesses open:
- Pubs (outdoor service only)
- Restaurants (outdoor service only)
- Gyms (indoor exercising – but no classes)
- Beauty salons
- Theme parks
- Drive-in cinemas
- Drive-in performances
- Community centres
If you'd rather spend time outside, outdoor gatherings in parks and on beaches can go ahead for groups of up to 30.
And you fancy a little holiday, weekend getaways are on the cards.
Hotels and all holiday overnight accommodation is open, and these can be used by groups of six or two households.
Weddings can also take place, with up to 30 allowed to attend.
Government rules state people from different households must abide by social distancing throughout ceremonies and receptions.
Zoos, theme parks and drive-in cinemas are also open for business, while driving tests are back on for people keen to get their licence.
Elsewhere, families can visit relatives in care homes, with up to two permitted per resident.
Libraries and community centres are also open, with the roadmap saying: "All public spaces have important benefits that help create local attachments and sense of belonging to a community."
As Brits continue to enjoy their lockdown freedom, all eyes are on June 21 for all restrictions to lift.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said this morning he was confident the UK's vaccination programme was working, and this "can give us some confidence we can reopen on June 21".
He added: "The other thing that's very helpful and encouraging is the number of hospitalisations and fatalities as well is considerably lower than it was just two months ago.
"There’s lots of facts we have to consider. I as business secretary am very committed to try to reopen on June 21. I can’t guarantee that and we’re looking at the data every day."
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