Life after the Covid jab: what you can and cannot do after getting the vaccine

Health worker preparing to administer the coronavirus vaccine Credit: PA

If the UK's vaccination programme remains on track, all over 50s will have had the first dose of the coronavirus jab by May.

But what happens next? Does life return to normal? Can grandparents be reunited with their grandchildren? Can those lucky enough to have had the jab go out, see friends, travel?

Not quite. In fact, people in the UK are still some way off from the normal life we remember before the pandemic.

Here a few questions you may be asking yourself about life after the jab:

Can I invite my family over for Sunday dinner after being vaccinated?

Unless you're in a support bubble with your family, the answer is no. In fact, they should stay away.

Anyone who has the jab can still catch and spread the virus.

The first dose of the Astrazeneca/Oxford vaccine is 76% effective at protecting against severe illness and hospitalisation from Covid-19 but it doesn't give immunity.

Also, most people have yet to receive their second dose so the vaccine won't be at its most effective.

For those reasons, the rule which calls for no mixing in other people's homes and private gardens applies.

Family coming together for dinner currently outlawed because of lockdown Credit: PA

Can I go to the shops?

If you are what the government describe as "extremely clinically vulnerable", stay at home according to the lockdown guidance announced on January 5.

If you are not shielding, even if you live with a vulnerable person who is shielding, you can go the shops for basic necessities.

Two metre distancing applies at all times.

Can I stop wearing a mask?

A mask or face covering over your nose and mouth must be worn in all indoor public places and public transport regardless of whether you've had the vaccine.

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, that applies to everyone aged 11 or over unless medically exempt.

In Scotland, it's aged five and over.

The total number of confirmed cases in the UK is now 4,071,185. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA

Can I meet anyone outside my home?

It's permitted to meet one other person to exercise outdoors once a day keeping two metres apart. That includes going for a walk but it must be in your local area.

You can also visit people in your support bubble or provide care to children under 14, vulnerable and disabled people.

Support groups with a maximum of 15 members and respite care are also allowed.

Can I volunteer or work?

You can continue to work or volunteer at home unless in person attendance can't be avoided. That includes people who work in construction, manufacturing, healthcare, food shops or at a food bank which requires physical attendance.

Volunteers work at a food bank. Credit: ITV News

When will things change?

The advice is to keep following the government's stay at home, social distancing rules whether you've had the vaccine or not.

The current lockdown rules apply until March 8 but Boris Johnson has promised to set out a plan for Britain's exit out of lockdown on February 22

In the meantime, the government says it's assessing the impact of the vaccinations and will make changes after consultation with its scientific advisers.

Even so, scientists are predicting a return to something resembling normality could be some months if not at least another year away.