Covid roadmap: Nine things you can do in England from Monday, May 17

An indoor exercise class
From Monday, May 17, indoor exercise classes can restart. Credit: PA

The prime minister has confirmed the next and biggest round of Covid-19 lockdown easing can go ahead next Monday, but what will you be able to do once the rules have changed?

Giving a coronavirus update, Boris Johnson said England had met its targets for a further round of lockdown easing and the UK as a whole has decided to lower its Covid alert level.

The last round of lockdown easing in April in England saw shops reopen and the hospitality sector welcome back customers in outdoor settings.

Next Monday promises to go even further and will be the biggest round of rule changes so far, here's nine things you will be able to do:

Hug a loved one

Ever since the start of the pandemic the government has insisted close contact with other people is one of the easiest ways to spread Covid-19 and has advised against it.

From Monday this advice will end and people will be allowed to hug their grandparents, parents, brothers, sisters, friends and anyone else who is close to them again.

The government is still urging caution and encouraging people to think about the risk to the person you intend to hug.

Go to the pub indoors

For the first time in months, you will be able to go to the pub or restaurant with up to six people or two households, sit indoors and enjoy a meal and some drinks.

Go to the cinema or a museum

From Monday all indoor entertainment venues including cinemas, museums and children's play areas will be allowed to reopen.

Go to an outdoor performance

All remaining outdoor entertainment will be allowed to reopen, such as outdoor cinemas and performances. Some larger events will be able to take place, including conferences, theatre and concert performances, and sports events.

Restrictions on the number of attendees at larger events will remain.

Go on holiday abroad

The government has said people from England will be allowed to leave the country from Monday for whatever reason they like.

The government has produced a traffic light system for which countries people can visit and what rules they will be subject to when they return.

The vast majority of nations are 'amber' which requires someone to self-isolate at home when they return to the UK.

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Green countries have no such rules, but very few nations such as Portugal and Israel have been put on the list.

Not have to wear a face covering at school or university

The government has said face coverings will no longer be needed in any education setting.

They have also said universities will be allowed to welcome back students but they must ensure all of them take two Covid tests a week - similar to the rule that is staying in place for school children.

Attend a wedding

Up to 30 people will now be able to attend weddings, receptions, and commemorative events including wakes, as well as standalone life events.

These can take place outdoors or at any indoor Covid secure venue that is permitted to open. 

Up to 30 people can. attend a wedding.

Attend an indoor exercise class

Organised adult sport and exercise classes can resume indoors and saunas and steam rooms may reopen from Monday.

Have more than two named visitors for a care home resident

Care homes residents will be able to have up to five named visitors, with two visitors able to attend at once provided they are tested and follow infection control measures.

Residents will also have greater freedoms to leave their home without having to isolate on their return.

There are still some things you can't do...

Unfortunately, while it may feel like life is going back to normal, there will still be many noticeable restrictions on our way of life.

The biggest of all will be social distancing will remain in effect.

All people who are not in a group will have to remain at minimum one metre apart from one another in all settings.

Masks will also still be required in shops and on public transport.

Despite the pub being open you still won't be able to go out in a group of more than six and booking ahead will still be required at many venues.

Large indoor events like concerts are also still going to be off-limits.

After May 17 the next and hopefully final round of lockdown lifting is due to take place on June 21.

If all goes to plan, June 21 will see the end to social distancing, the reopening of nightclubs and the end of limits on the number of people who can meet at one time (except for the very largest gatherings).