Most existing Covid restrictions in the UK are staying in place for the moment, because of concerns over the Delta variant.
What’s been announced in England?
The delay to rule-relaxation is because of concerns over the Delta variant of Covid, with cases are growing by about 64% per week.
The government says more time is needed to vaccinate the adult population before remaining rules can be lifted, the PM said.
A few restrictions are being lifted on 21 June:
- The number of guests at a wedding will no longer be limited to 30, although venues and hosts will have to do a risk assessment to ensure social distancing can take place (similar rules apply to wakes)
- Care home residents will not necessarily have to self-isolate after leaving their care homes, and they will be able to nominate an “essential care-giver” who can visit, even if the resident is self-isolating
- Children can go on overnight trips in groups of 30 with, for example, the Scouts or Guides, or as part of summer residential schools
- Also, large events pilots will continue, including more Euro 2020 games and a number of other sports, arts and music events
What are England’s remaining Covid restrictions?
A number of restrictions which were expected to be lifted, will remain in place for the moment:
- Limits on the number of people who can mix indoors and outdoors
- Pubs, clubs, theatres and cinemas still have to operate within capacity limits
- Limited numbers of people allowed to attend sports events
- Nightclubs remain closed
What about areas with high numbers of Indian/Delta variant cases?
There are now 14 areas of England where you are advised to:
- meet friends and family outside
- keep 2m (6ft) apart from people you don’t live or bubble with
- minimise travel in and out of affected areas
These are Bedford, Birmingham, Blackburn with Darwen, Blackpool, Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Greater Manchester, Kirklees, Lancashire (county council area), Leicester, Liverpool City Region (Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens, Wirral), London Borough of Hounslow, North Tyneside and Warrington.
What’s been announced in Wales?
The lifting of coronavirus restrictions is being paused for four weeks and will be reviewed again on 15 July.
However from 21 June there will be some “small technical amendments” made to current rules – including:
- No limit on the number of people who can attend a wedding or civil partnership reception or wake – this will be determined by the size of the venue and a risk assessment
- Small grassroots music and comedy venues will be able to operate on the same basis as hospitality venues, such as pubs and cafes
- Primary school children in the same school contact group or bubble will be able to stay overnight in a residential outdoor education centre
What am I allowed to do across the UK at the moment?
Exact rules may vary between nations and – in Scotland – between areas:
- Pubs, cafes, bars and restaurants can reopen indoors
- Holiday accommodation has reopened
- Cinemas, amusement arcades and bingo halls can open
- Indoor visitor attractions, including museums and galleries, can open
- Leisure centres, gyms and swimming pools can reopen and indoor group exercise is allowed (with limits)
- Outdoor contact sports are allowed
- Travel around the UK is allowed, and some international travel can resume (in line with the traffic light system)
- Care home residents can receive visitors
- Wedding receptions and funeral wakes can take place
- Some outdoor events – including concerts and sports fixtures – can take place in front of an audience
Who can I meet at the moment?
Rules vary for each UK nation:
- In England, groups of up to 30 can meet outdoors and six people or two households can meet indoors (and stay overnight)
- In Wales, three households can form an extended household and mix in private homes; up to 30 people can meet outdoors in a public place or private garden
- In Northern Ireland, up to six people from two households can meet in private homes (under-13s not counted towards total) and overnight stays are allowed; up to 15 people (including children) from no more than three households can meet outdoors, including in private gardens
Rules are more complicated in Scotland.
Fourteen areas are at Covid protection level two – Glasgow, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Dundee, East Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, North Ayrshire, South Ayrshire, East Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, Clackmannanshire and Stirling.
In these areas:
- Groups of six from a maximum of three households can meet in private and public indoor spaces (and stay overnight)
- Eight people from eight households can meet outdoors
Some districts have moved to Covid protection level one (down from level two) – Highland, Argyll and Bute, Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Moray, Angus, Perth and Kinross, Falkirk, Fife, Inverclyde, East Lothian, West Lothian, West Dunbartonshire, Dumfries and Galloway and the Borders.
The rules for meeting are:
- Six people from a maximum of three households can meet in a private home (and stay overnight)
- Up to eight people from three households can meet in an indoor public place like a cafe, pub or restaurant (indoors until 23:00, outdoors subject to local licensing rules)
- 12 people from 12 households can meet outdoors
Shetland, Orkney, the Western Isles and a number of remote islands are now at level zero (down from level one).
The rules for these areas include:
- Up to eight people from four households can meet inside in a private home (and stay overnight)
- Up to 10 people from four households can meet in an indoor public place like a cafe, pub or restaurant
- Up to 15 people from 15 households can meet outdoors
In all levels, children under the age of 12 are not included in the total number of people – but they are counted in the limit on the number of different households.