The lockdown changes announced in England - and how they compare to Wales

From next month, people living in England will see a major easing of the coronavirus lockdown rules.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson today announced plans including the reopening of pubs and restaurants, as well as reducing the two-metre rule to 'one metre-plus'.

The changes in England are due to take effect on July 4 - but how do they compare to the changes announced on Friday by Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford?

We've taken a look.

The two-metre social distancing guidelines remain in place for Wales. Credit: PA
  • Two-metre social distancing

In Wales, the advice remains in place to maintain a physical distance of two metres from anyone outside of your household, to reduce the risk of transmission of Covid-19. It's also enshrined in law for workplaces here. There are currently no plans for this to change.

In England, from July 4, it is recommended that individuals not from the same household should remain one metre-plus away from each other - only if a two-metre distance cannot be adhered to. The 'plus' element is about putting in further safeguards, including wearing a mask, regularly washing hands or sitting side-by-side rather than face-to-face.

  • Hugging friends and family

You are not still permitted to hug friends and family living outside of your household - and that applies in both Wales and England.

The only exception to this is if you are living in England and part of a 'support bubble', where you do not have to observe social distancing.

  • Pubs and restaurants

Pubs and restaurants in England will be able to reopen from July 4, with the one metre-plus distancing measures in place and providing they follow safety guidelines.

There are no plans to allow hospitality to reopen yet here in Wales. The sector is likely to be included in the Welsh Government’s next review on July 10.

Pubs and restaurants are set to reopen in England next month, but could look very different. Credit: PA
  • Hotels and B&Bs

From July 4, people in England can enjoy breaks with the reopening of accommodation sites including hotels, B&Bs and hostels.

Similar plans have already been announced for Wales and will come into force from July 13.

In all cases, the accommodation must be self-contained, with its own kitchen and bathroom - i.e. no shared/public facilities. There are strict rules around intensive cleaning and sanitation.

Caravan parks are likely to face difficulties, as so many of them have shared washing facilities and toilets.

  • Hair salons and barbers

It has already been announced in Wales that salons can reopen from July 13 with safety measures in place.

In England, hairdressers and barbers can operate from July 4 while using use face visors, Boris Johnson confirmed.

Hairdressers and barbers will soon be open in both Wales and England. Credit: PA
  • Museums, galleries and cinemas

These will be allowed to open in England with appropriate social distancing from July 4.

There are no plans yet for cultural institutions in Wales.

  • Places of worship

In England, places of worship will be able to reopen for prayer and services from July 4.

Individual prayer is already permitted in Wales.

  • Weddings and civil partnerships

In England, wedding services involving up to 30 people will be permitted as part of the further easing of lockdown rules revealed by the Prime Minister.

In Wales, marriage and civil partnership ceremonies can take place, subject to physical distancing requirements for those in attendance.

Weddings can take place in Wales, subject to physical distancing requirements for those in attendance. Credit: PA
  • Meeting indoors

Boris Johnson said two households in England would be able to start meeting indoors from next month, so long as the one metre-plus rule was kept to. The household you choose to meet up with does not have to be exclusive, unlike in the 'support bubbles' created recently to help ease loneliness.

People in Wales cannot meet others indoors at present.

  • Meeting outdoors

In England, outside restrictions remain largely the same, except that the two households now permitted to meet inside are welcome to do the same at the park, with no limit on the size of their gathering. Groups not from the same household meeting up outside continue to be restricted to a maximum of six.

In Wales, any number of people from two different households can meet outdoors.

  • Travel limits

The ‘stay local' five-mile rule of thumb looks set to be lifted in Wales on July 6.

There is no such restriction on travel within England.

People in Wales are advised to travel no further than five miles from home, but this is set to be lifted on July 6. Credit: PA
  • Shopping for non-essentials

In both Wales and England, non-essential shops have now been given the green light to let customers back in again.

  • Reopening of schools

Schools in England began a phased return from June 15.

The same will happen in Wales from June 29.

  • What remains closed?

In both Wales and England, places of ‘close contact’ remain closed. These include nightclubs, indoor gyms, soft-play areas, swimming pools, spas, bowling alleys and water parks.

  • Daily briefings

The daily UK briefing is to end. Instead, briefings will take place for significant announcements only.

The Welsh Government will continue to hold its coronavirus press conferences every weekday at 12:30pm.

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