What are the new Covid rules in England from 12 April?


Lockdown restrictions will be eased further from 12 April in England, with some changes across Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Here is a roundup of what will be allowed:

Shops, hairdressers and zoos
All non-essential shops can reopen from 12 April but shoppers will be urged to shop alone or within households.

Retailers will stay open until 10pm to ensure compliance with coronavirus guidelines. The communities secretary, Robert Jenrick, said the extended opening hours on Monday to Saturday would help shoppers to return to high streets safely.

Shoppers in England will be able to try on clothes when several high street chains reopen changing rooms for the first time in a year.

Hairdressers and nail salons will also be allowed to reopen but have been told to avoid lengthy treatments to reduce contact time. Outdoor hospitality venues such as zoos and theme parks will also reopen.

Scotland remains in lockdown, but the aim is to open all retail premises, including libraries, museums, and tourist accommodation on 26 April.

In Northern Ireland, 10 people from two households will be able to meet outdoors from 12 April. Only essential retail is permitted to remain open and contactless click and collect services is permitted for shops selling baby equipment, clothing, , electrical goods, garden centres and plant nurseries.

Pubs and restaurants are allowed to open and serve customers with outdoor service only.

Everyone who visits will have to check in on the NHS’s Test-and-trace app and groups are limited to six people or two households.

Drinkers have been urged to take cash to the pub with them, as poor broadband and mobile signal means card machines may not work in pub gardens.

There are no rules in place requiring pubs to serve a meal alongside alcohol, and there will be no curfew.

From Monday, self-catering holidays in England will be allowed for one household, and campsites will be open. Hotels and B&Bs will remain closed.

Travel into and out of Wales from the rest of the United Kingdom will be allowed.

In Scotland, the “stay local” guidance still applies, though the Holyrood government hopes to lift all restrictions on journeys in mainland Scotland on 26 April.

Gyms will be able to reopen on Monday but people must exercise alone or with their household and group exercise classes will not be allowed.

Saunas and steam rooms in gyms will remain closed, but indoor swimming pools and other indoor exercise venues will reopen.

Weddings and funerals
Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies may take place, as well as receptions. The limit on the maximum number of attenders will rise from six to 15.

Funerals will continue with the current number of guests limited to 30.

The Met Office’s early outlook for next week suggests much of the country is in for mixed weather, with temperatures remaining chilly.

They added that mid-April weather can be difficult to predict but that as the week goes on there are likely to be “further spells of unsettled weather with some showers or longer spells of rain crossing all parts of the UK”. By the end of the week, temperatures should be close to the average for this time of year, which is about 12ºC.

About the author

Olivia Wilson
By Olivia Wilson


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