Friday 23 April 2021 6:54 am

Freedom Friday: How lockdown is being eased across the UK from today

People can finally get a hair cut in Northern Ireland from today, while those in Wales are looking forward to more freedom this weekend as coronavirus restrictions are eased.

Travel between Scotland, England and Wales will be be permitted from Monday and tourist accommodation can welcome back visitors.

Here is an overview of the state of restrictions across the different parts of the UK.

From today

Close contact services such as hairdressers are reopening today in Northern Ireland. Outdoor visitor attractions will also reopen there and there will be a resumption of driving lessons and tests, and a return to competitive sports for clubs.

Staying in Northern Ireland, pubs and cafes can serve people outdoors from 30 April and indoors from 24 May, when hotels will also be able to fully reopen again.

From 30 April, up to 15 people, including children, from no more than three households can meet up outdoors in a private garden, maintaining social distancing.

From that date people will also be able to stay overnight in self-contained accommodation within a household or bubble.

How are things looking in London and England?

Most social contact rules outside will be lifted from 17 May, although gatherings of more than 30 will remain illegal.

Indoors, the rule of six or two households will apply although the Government has said it will keep under review whether it is safe to increase this.

Indoor hospitality, entertainment venues such as cinemas and soft play areas, the rest of the accommodation sector, and indoor adult group sports and exercise classes will also reopen. Limited crowds will also be allowed at sporting events.

Foreign holidays could be permitted for people living in England from 17 May under the road map for easing pandemic restrictions.

The Government confirmed this week that coronavirus passports will be available “as soon as possible”.

All remaining restrictions on social contact could be lifted from 21 June, allowing for larger events to go ahead and nightclubs to reopen.

What is the situation in Wales?

From tomorrow, any six people can meet up outdoors, an easing of the current rules which only allow six people from a maximum of two different households to meet.

Children under 11 years of age are not included in the six-household limit, nor are carers from those households

Meeting people from other households indoors is still not allowed except for a limited number of circumstances.

From Monday, pubs, restaurants, cafes and other hospitality businesses will be allowed to offer outdoor service again.

Also from Monday organised outdoor activities will also be permitted for up to 30 people, outdoor wedding receptions for the same number, and outdoor visitor attractions can open.

From May 3, gyms and leisure centres can reopen, and people can form extended households with one other household.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said indoor supervised activities for children, indoor organised activities for up to 15 adults like exercise classes, and reopening community centres will also be brought forward from 17 May to 3 May.

Indoor hospitality and tourist accommodation in Wales is expected to reopen on 17 May, as well as reopening indoor entertainment venues and attractions.

The dates for indoor hospitality and tourism accommodation brings Wales in line with the reopening dates in England.

How about Scotland?

From Monday, cafes, restaurants and beer gardens can open, along with non-essential shops, gyms, swimming pools, libraries and museums.

Hospitality will need to close at 8pm indoors, with alcohol only allowed to be served outside.

People will be able to meet others for a meal or drink, with up to six people from two households allowed to socialise in a public place.

Driving lessons and tests will be able to resume, and close-contact services such as beauty parlours can also return.

Funerals and weddings – including post-funeral events and receptions – will be permitted to take place with up to 50 people, with alcohol allowed.

From 17 May, pubs are set to open indoors until 10.30pm and contact sports and some small-scale events can take place.

Cinemas, theatres, comedy clubs, amusement arcades and bingo halls can open, and universities and colleges can return to a more blended model of learning.

Up to four people from two households can socialise indoors in a private home, and six from three households in public places.

From 7 June, up to eight people from up to three households can socialise indoors in a public place and up to six people from up to three households in a private place.

Up to 12 people from 12 households can socialise outdoors.

Hospitality can remain open indoors until 11pm, funfairs and soft play can open and attendance at events can increase.

Then from late June, up to 10 people from up to four households can meet indoors in a public place and up to eight people from up to four households in a private place.

The limits on meeting outdoors changes to 15 people from 15 households and the number of people allowed at events will again increase.

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