What to expect as lockdown restrictions ease

Following the latest Government guidelines, people in England can expect to see more socially-distanced gatherings in outdoor spaces, shops reopening and certain year groups returning back to school - all in the month of June.

Here's a list of what to prepare for as lockdown restrictions gradually begin to ease.

  • Socially-distanced gatherings

As of Monday (1 June) people in England will be able to gather outdoors in socially-distanced groups of up to six.

This means that groups can meet in parks and private gardens for chats and barbecues.

We wanted to find out how our viewers felt about the idea of people being allowed to meet in groups of six whilst staying two metres apart.

In a Twitter Poll we asked "Are you planning on meeting people outside of your household from Monday?" After 395 votes (as of 4:35pm on 29 May), almost 54% said "yes" whilst almost 46% said "no".

What does this mean for households with more than six people?

The Environment Secretary, George Eustice has confirmed that families of six or more will be unable to to meet with additional people together.

After being asked by a member of the public, Ms Eustice said that the Government "had to draw a line somewhere".

He suggested a solution would be for some of the family members to go and meet grandparents or friends while the others stay at home.

  • Children returning to school

Some children will be returning back to school from Monday. Credit: PA Images.

Another change from Monday (1 June) is that children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 will be returning back to school.

The Government say that strict hygiene measures will be in place and social distancing will be encouraged. Guidelines also say that teachers and staff do not need to wear PPE.

Some councils across the Midlands, including Nottingham, Birmingham and Peterborough, have questioned whether it is too soon for schools to re-open.

Read more: Back to school: Concern or relief?

Nottingham City Council expressed in a statement that it has advised the Nottingham Schools Trust to not reopen to wider numbers at this time.

  • Shops reopening

The Bullring and Grand Central is set to open from June 15th. Credit: PA Images.

Birmingham's Bullring and Grand Central has announced that it will officially re-open on June 15th.

This is in line with Government guidelines which states that all other non-essential retail shops will be able to reopen from June 15th.

A range of measures are being put into place to keep everyone safe, including the introduction of a one-way system, enhanced cleaning processes and fixed hand sanitiser stations.

All customer-facing workers will wear protective clothing and customers will be encouraged to use contactless payments for transactions.

The General Manager at Bullring and Grand Central says the way people are going to be expected to shop will be "different for a while".

Credit: PA Images.

Intu, which has shopping centres in Stoke-on-Trent, Merry Hill, Nottingham and Derby, has also outlined how it will support the gradual reopening of non-essential retail stores.

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