Last updated Monday 17 May 2021 at 00.01am

The Government’s roadmap to exit lockdown began on 8 March 2021. There were changes to restrictions on 17 May.

Restrictions remain in place in step one and everyone must follow them to help reduce the spread of coronavirus.

Key points

  • indoors up to 6 people or 2 households (each household can include a support bubble) can meet and outdoor gatherings of up to 30 people and are allowed
  • indoor hospitality including restaurants, pubs, bars and cafes can open.
  • university is open for face-to-face learning 
  • care homes allow regular indoor visits of up to five named visitors (two at any one time)- check the guidance at Covid-19 - visiting a care home
  • people should continue to work from home where they can 
  • schools, colleges, nurseries and Early Years settings are open


  • indoor and outdoor hospitality including restaurants, pubs, bars and cafes can open
  • all retail can open, including personal care premises hairdressers, nail salons
  • public buildings, including libraries and community centres can open

Sport and Leisure

  • indoor and outdoor events, including live performances, sporting events and business events can happen with Covid-secure measures in place
  • indoor and outdoor attractions and hospitality venues including cinemas, theatres, concert halls, bowling alleys, museums, children’s indoor play areas, zoos, theme parks, can open
  • indoor leisure facilities including gyms can open (people must use on their own or in household groups)
  • saunas or steam rooms can open
  • parent and child groups and activities of up to 30 parents can take place indoors (children under 5 do not count towards limit)
  • people can take part in organised indoor and outdoor sports (includes gym classes)


  • if children do not live in the same household as their parents or one of their parents, existing arrangements for contact between them will remain in place
  • friends and family can provide informal childcare for children under 14 as part of a regular childcare arrangement


  • holiday accommodation can open (including hotels and B&Bs) and can be used by groups of up to 6 or 2 households (including a support bubble, if eligible)
  • overnight stays in England are allowed for up to 6 people or 2 households
  • international travel is allowed. There’s a traffic light system you must follow when returning depending on whether you return from a red, amber or green list country
  • if you travel, walk or cycle where possible, and plan ahead and practice social distancing while you travel

Places of worship and ceremonies

  • attendance at funerals will be determined by how many people the Covid-secure venue can safely accommodate
  • attendance at weddings, wakes and other commemorative events limited to 30 people – see Our affected services page
  • places of worship are open 

Our advice

  • social distancing will be optional between friends and family, meaning hugs and close contact are allowed. Remember, some people are more vulnerable than others, especially if they have not been vaccinated 
  • remember the risks associated with Coronavirus and actions you can take to help keep you and your loved ones safe
  • meet outside if possible. If you do meet inside, make sure the space is well ventilated - open windows and doors
  • minimise how many people you’re in close contact with, and for how long
  • continue to social distance in shops, pubs, restaurants and business or medical settings
  • wash hands and clean surfaces regularly
  • get tested twice a week
  • take the vaccine when you are offered it, and encourage others to as well
  • wear a face covering on public transport
  • don’t share a car with other households unless they are in your bubble

More information

Full information on the roadmap out of lockdown can be found on the government’s website.

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0114 273 4567 Monday to Friday 8:45 to 4:45pm