What does lockdown lifting look like across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?

People relaxing in St James’s Park, London, as further coronavirus lockdown restrictions are lifted in England Credit: Yui Mok/PA

Lockdown restrictions are slowly being eased in different ways and at varying speeds across the UK.

Here we take a look at the situation in each of the four nations.


Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed a long list of businesses and facilities that will be allowed to reopen from July 4.

As well as bars, restaurants and cafes, from next Saturday cinemas, museums, art galleries, bingo halls, community centres, hair salons, work canteens, outdoor playgrounds and outdoor gyms hairdressers and barbers will be able to welcome customers again.

Places of worship will be able to hold services once again, with weddings back on but numbers capped at 30 - subject to social distancing.

The two-metre rule will also be reduced to one metre plus from July 4. Credit: Chris Attridge/PA

These come after non-essential shops, zoos and safari parks were allowed to open with social distancing measures from June 15.

The two-metre rule will also be reduced to one metre plus from the same date.

People from different households will now only have to keep one metre apart, including in newly opened businesses, as long as people are taking other precautions such as wearing a mask, regularly washing hands, and sitting side-by-side rather than face-to-face.

Two households meeting for dinner can sit at the same table but still must not touch and should attempt to uphold the “one metre-plus” rules.

From July 4, two households will be allowed to meet indoors and people can stay overnight, so long as social distancing is observed.

It is hoped pupils will return to school in September.


Things are unlocking at a slower pace north of the border, and on Wednesday First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced some more key dates for the easing of restrictions in Scotland.

Beer gardens will be able to reopen from July 6, and from July 10 it will be easier to socialise as extended groups can meet outside so long as they physically distance from each other, and two households will be able to meet indoors.

The following week on July 15 hairdressers and barbers will reopen alongside indoor pubs and restaurants on a limited basis.

Hairdressers and barbers will reopen on June 15 in Scotland. Credit: PA

The tourism sector and holiday accommodation will be able to welcome guests again and museums, galleries, monuments, cinemas and libraries will also be able to reopen with precautions in place, for example, tickets being secured in advance.

Early learning and childcare facilities will resume but capacity is expected to be restricted.

The two-metre rule will remain in place for now as other measures come into force next week,

From June 29, outdoor markets, playgrounds and sports facilities will reopen, along with zoos and “garden attractions”, although visitors should not travel more than five miles from their homes and tickets should be bought in advance.

Non-essential shops can also open from June 29 if they have outdoor entrances and exits.

Restrictions on moving house will be dropped and weddings will be allowed to go ahead if they are outdoors and with “limited numbers”.

Scottish schools are aiming to reopen full-time with no physical distancing at the start of the new educational year in August if coronavirus continues to be suppressed, the country's education minister has said.

Scottish Conservative MSP Ruth Davidson (right) lights a candle alongside the Very Rev John Conway in St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh, which is re-opening its doors for private worship Credit: Jane Barlow/AP


Wales allowed shops and places of worship to open this week, along with the housing market, but First Minister Mark Drakeford has said his administration will not end its five-mile restriction on travel and allow holidaymakers to return until next month.

On Friday, Mr Drakeford said the "stay local" requirement would end on July 6 if transmissions continue to fall, but warned that "coronavirus is not over".

Tourism and visitor sectors can now plan to welcome people for when the “stay local” requirement is lifted, meaning businesses can begin to take bookings for the week beginning July 13, though the first minister warned it would “have to be at their own risk” should the plan be scrapped.

Holidaymakers will be restricted to self-contained accommodation, including caravans with their own kitchen and bathroom, cottages, and hotels and bed and breakfasts that are en-suite and provide room service meals.

Hairdressers were also given notice last week that they should use the next three weeks to prepare for services to resume by appointment only and with safeguards in place.

There are no social bubble arrangements in Wales.

Schools in Wales will return on June 29 and some establishments will extend their terms by an extra week in a bid to make up for lost time.

People rest on the beach in hot weather in Barry Island, Wales, where lockdown restrictions remain in place to combat the spread of coronavirus Credit: Ben Birchall/PA

Northern Ireland

The relaxation of measures in Northern Ireland has been sped up slightly as a result of the suppression of the virus.

Earlier this month, ministers approved the creation of indoor social bubbles involving one person living on their own and another household, without the need for social-distancing restrictions, to combat loneliness and isolation - a similar scheme is in place in England.

From July 6, vulnerable people who are shielding from infection will be able to meet up to six people outside the home, as long as social distancing is strictly observed, the health department said separately.

People who are shielding and living alone will be able to form a support bubble from July 6 with one other household.

Owner Allan Taylor inside Coffee & Heroes comic book store and coffee shop in Belfast’s Smithfield Market Credit: Liam McBurney/PA

From June 26, caravan parks, campsites and self-contained tourist accommodation will be able to reopen.

A week later, on July 3, hotels, restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, pubs and bars will be able to welcome customers back.

Church services are set to resume on June 29, while a provisional date for hair salons, barbers and nail bars to reopen has been set for July 6.

Coronavirus: Everything you need to know