Covid: What lockdown restrictions are being eased from Monday May 17?

People will be allowed to meet inside at pubs. Credit: PA

Update: Boris Johnson has confirmed England will move to the next stage of lockdown restrictions easing from Monday 17 May. Full details of the changes here.

Details of how England is moving to stage three of the roadmap out of the coronavirus lockdown are expected to be revealed on Monday.

The next stage to regaining more of our freedoms is due to come into effect from May 17. 

It's expected to be good news for the hospitality industry and people can meet up indoors for the first time since Christmas.

Here is a look at what is likely to change from May 17.

People will be allowed to eat and drink with others inside. Credit: PA


Restaurants, pubs and bars will be allowed to welcome customers indoors. 

A group of six people or two households will be allowed to meet indoors at pubs, bars and restaurants.

Customers will be required to order, eat and drink while seated. There will be no curfew and no one will one be required to have a "substantial meal" with alcohol.

People will be permitted to meet in groups of up to 30 in beer gardens or at venues that have outdoor dining.

People watch Zuzu at a music festival at a test event in Sefton Park. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Images


Museums and cinemas will be allowed to reopen to customers, but will need to maintain social distancing. 

A number of trials relating to indoor and outdoor events have already taken place to show how they operate safely.

Some larger theatre, music and sporting events indoors will be allowed to have a capacity of 1,000 people or half-full (whichever is a lower number).

Furthermore, outdoor venues can open to a maximum capacity of 4,000 people or half-full, whichever is lower. 

Larger outdoor venues, which can allow for greater social distancing, can host 10,000 people or quarter-full, whichever is lower.


Six people or two households will be able to meet indoors for the first time since Christmas, allowing people to enter the homes of others. 

Additionally, people will be allowed to stay overnight at someone else's house from May 17.

The rule of 30 will be removed for funerals but will still be in place for weddings, receptions and wakes. Social distancing will still need to be maintained, however, meaning individual venues will need to ascertain how many they can safely fit while abiding by guidelines. 

"Significant life events" such as bar mitzvahs and christenings will be allowed to happen once more.


It is anticipated that the prime minister will announce that schoolchildren will no longer be required to wear masks during lessons. 

Face-to-face teaching will restart at universities.

Listen to the latest episode of our Coronavirus podcast


People can once again practice indoor group sports and exercise classes can begin inside at gyms, leisure centres and other venues.


In England, hotels and B&Bs will be allowed to admit guests travelling for leisure purposes.

People can also go abroad on holiday but need to abide by traffic light system and other rules in place.

Countries will be given a rating of green, amber or red to indicate how safe they are to travel to, based on their Covid infection rate.