What's the roadmap for lifting lockdown?

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Pubs and gyms will reopen in Scotland on Monday 26 April - as part of a significant easing of lockdown restrictions announced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Wales has also announced new rules about how many people can meet up outside.

How are lockdown rules changing in Scotland?

From 26 April:

  • Those parts of Scotland currently at Covid protection level four will move down to level three., bringing mainland Scotland in line with Scottish island communities.


  • All remaining travel restrictions will be lifted for travel within Scotland, or between Scotland, England and Wales (subject to local restrictions)
  • All remaining travel restrictions will also be lifted for travel between Scotland and Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands - but travellers should check the rules for entering those areas

Shopping and services

  • All shops can reopen fully
  • Close-contact services can restart in retail premises - but not mobile services, apart from hairdressers and barbers
  • Driving lessons and tests can take place
  • Non-essential informal childcare can restart
  • Non-essential work can resume inside people's homes (including cleaning and repair work)

Hospitality and tourism

  • Outdoor opening of cafes, pubs and restaurants - hours subject to local licensing rules, alcohol can be served, groups of up to six people from six households
  • Indoor opening of cafes, pubs and restaurants - until 20:00 each day, no alcohol can be served, groups of up to six people from two households
  • Hospitality venues must take contact details for everyone, not just the lead member of a group
  • Takeaway food can be collected from indoors, rather than from a hatch or window
  • Hotels, B&Bs, self-catering, caravan and camping sites can reopen - but you can't share self-catering accommodation with another household


  • The number of people who can attend funerals/wakes, weddings/receptions rises from 20 to 50

Exercise and leisure

  • Gyms and swimming pools can reopen for individual exercise
  • Indoor attractions - galleries, museums and libraries - can reopen


  • Those on the shielding list can return to work, from home if possible, or if not, they should talk to their employer about keeping them safe
  • Children who have been shielding can return to school
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The first minister also said the Scottish Government intended to ease restrictions further on the following dates:

From 17 May:

  • All areas of Scotland should move to level two
  • Up to four people from no more than two households can socialise indoors in a private home
  • Hospitality venues return to "greater normality", possibly serving alcohol indoors until 22:30 - customers may be asked to book two-hour slots
  • Outdoor adult contact sport and indoor group exercise to restart
  • Cinemas, amusement arcades and bingo halls to reopen

7 June:

  • All areas of Scotland in level two to move to level one
  • Up to six people from up to three households to socialise indoors in a private home
  • Up to eight people from three households to socialise indoors in a public place
  • A maximum of 12 people from 12 households to socialise outdoors
  • Hospitality can remain open until 23:00
  • A maximum of 100 people at weddings, funerals and other life events

Late June:

  • It's hoped all areas of Scotland in level one will move to level zero

In Scotland you can already:

  • Travel anywhere within Scotland (but staying away from your local council area overnight is not permitted)
  • Mix outdoors with six people (children under 12 don't count) from up to six households - with social distancing
  • Take part in outdoors non-contact group sports if you're aged 12 to 17
  • Go to essential shops, garden centres, key cutters and homeware stores - or use click-and-collect at non-essential retailers
  • Go to a hairdressers or barbers (pre-booked appointments only)
  • Attend communal worship (up to 50 people with social distancing)
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How are lockdown rules changing in Wales?

From Saturday 24 April six people (not counting children under 11 and carers) from multiple households will be able to meet up outside.

Currently, six people from two different households can meet and exercise outdoors and in private gardens.

You should observe social distancing with people you don't live with.

On Monday 26 April, outdoor hospitality, including cafes, pubs and restaurants will be allowed to reopen.

From then, it's also hoped that:

  • Outdoor attractions, including funfairs and theme parks can open
  • Organised outdoor activities and wedding receptions for up to 30 people can resume

From Monday 3 May:

From Monday 17 May:

  • Children's indoor activities can resume
  • Community centres can open
  • Organised indoor activities for adults, limited to a maximum of 15 people; this includes exercise classes

Pubs, cafes and restaurants could be allowed to reopen indoors in time for the Spring Bank Holiday at the end of May - but a decision won't be taken until at least 17 May.

In Wales you can already:

  • Holiday in self-contained accommodation with your household or support bubble - including hotels with en-suite facilities.
  • Visit all shops and close-contact services
  • Travel in and out of Wales from other parts of the UK
  • Have a driving lesson (driving lessons resume 22 April)

How are lockdown rules changing in Northern Ireland?

The stay-at-home order has been replaced by guidance to "stay local".

It's hoped that from 23 April:

  • Outdoor visitor attractions and activity centres can reopen (including drive-in cinemas and performances)
  • Close contact services, such as hairdressers and nail salons (including mobile), can reopen strictly by appointment
  • Driving lessons and tests can resume
  • Competitive outdoor sports and squad training can resume (no spectators and numbers limited to 100)
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From 30 April:

  • Up to 15 people from three households can meet outdoors, including in a private garden
  • All non-essential retail will reopen
  • Pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants can operate outdoors - customers must be seated, with a maximum of six people from two households at each table
  • It will not be necessary to have a substantial meal in order to have an alcoholic drink, and pre-booking at bars will not be required
  • The closing time of 23:00 BST for takeaways and 20:00 for off-licences and selling of alcohol will be removed
  • Gyms and swimming pools will reopen for individual exercise
  • Self-contained holiday accommodation - such as static caravans and holiday homes - can reopen
  • Outdoor visitor attractions can reopen

From 24 May (at the earliest):

The Northern Ireland Executive has given this as a provisional date when more restrictions might be lifted, including:

  • Reopening of indoor hospitality, including pubs and hotels
  • Resumption of indoor group exercise
  • Some indoor mixing of households
  • Reopening of B&Bs and hotels
  • Restarting of wedding receptions and funeral wakes
  • Reopening of indoor visitor attractions (for instance, museums or skating rinks)


  • Ten people from two households can meet up in private gardens
  • Non-essential shops can offer click-and-collect
  • Outdoor retail is open - including new and used car sales, garden centres and car washes
  • Sports training with up to 15 people has resumed
  • Communal worship has resumed
  • Weddings and funerals can take place - but not receptions or wakes

How are lockdown rules changing in England?

The next relaxation of lockdown restrictions is Stage three - due no earlier than 17 May - when it's hoped:

  • People can meet in groups of up to 30 outdoors
  • Six people or two households can meet indoors
  • Domestic overnight stays allowed with people not in your household or bubble
  • Pubs, restaurants and other hospitality venues can seat customers indoors
  • Up to 30 people can attend weddings or other life events, like christenings
  • Remaining outdoor entertainment, such as outdoor theatres and cinemas can open
  • Indoor entertainment such as museums, theatres, cinemas and children's play areas can open
  • Performances and large events can restart, but with limits on audience numbers
  • Hotels, hostels and B&Bs can reopen
  • International leisure travel may resume
  • Adult indoor group sports and exercise classes can restart

Stage four (no earlier than 21 June):

  • It's hoped all legal limits on social contact will be removed
  • No legal limits on the number of people who can attend weddings, funerals and other life events
  • Nightclubs will be allowed to reopen

What are the four tests for easing restrictions?

  • The coronavirus vaccine programme continues to go to plan
  • Vaccines are sufficiently reducing the number of people dying or needing hospital treatment
  • Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospital admissions
  • New coronavirus variants do not fundamentally change the risk of lifting restrictions

Current rules include:

  • Six people or two households can meet outside - including in private gardens
  • No mixing indoors with people not in your household or bubble
  • All shops, hairdressers, beauty salons and other close-contact services open
  • Restaurants and pubs can serve food and alcohol outdoors
  • Zoos and theme parks open
  • Indoor children's activities, libraries and community centres open
  • Indoor sports facilities including gyms and swimming pools open for individual exercise
  • Holidays in England in self-contained accommodation by members of the same household allowed
  • Non-essential journeys between England and Wales allowed
  • Weddings - up to 15 people
  • Funerals - up to 30 people, with 15 at wakes
  • Two care home visitors allowed per resident
  • Driving lessons have resumed - with driving tests restarting 22 April