Easing COVID Lockdown Measures – What You Can And Can’t Do From Monday April 12

By Rachael Grealish

April 12 has been a pretty big date in the diary since Boris Johnson set out his COVID road map back in February.

What’s been obvious to the public for a while is you can get drunk, fit and get new look all on the same day – that is pubs, gyms and hairdressers can all reopen.

But we’ve put together a comprehensive list of what you can and can’t do, and what businesses can and can’t, reopen from Monday April 12.

What you can do:

  • non-essential retail will be able to reopen
  • personal care premises such as hairdressers and nail salons will be able to reopen
  • public buildings such as libraries and community centres will be able to reopen
  • outdoor hospitality venues will be able to reopen, with table service only
  • most outdoor attractions including zoos, theme parks, and drive-in performances (such as cinemas and concerts) will be able to reopen
  • some smaller outdoor events such as fetes, literary fairs, and fairgrounds will be able to take place
  • indoor leisure and sports facilities will be able to reopen for individual exercise, or exercise with your household or support bubble
  • all childcare and supervised activities will be allowed indoors (as well as outdoors) for all children. Parent and child groups can take place indoors (as well as outdoors) for up to 15 people (children under 5 will not be counted in this number)
  • weddings, civil partnership ceremonies, wakes and other commemorative events will be able to take place for up to 15 people (anyone working is not included in this limit), including in indoor venues that are permitted to open or where an exemption applies.
  • Wedding receptions can also take place for up to 15 people, but must take place outdoors, not including private gardens
  • self-contained accommodation will be able to open for overnight stays in England with your household or support bubble
  • you should continue to minimise the amount that you travel where possible
  • care home residents will be able to nominate two named individuals for regular indoor visits (following a rapid lateral flow test)
Businesses that can reopen:

Non-essential retail will reopen. This will include but not be limited to:

  • clothing stores and tailors
  • charity and antique shops
  • homeware and carpet stores
  • showrooms (such as for vehicles as well as kitchens and bathrooms)
  • electronic goods and mobile phone shops
  • florists and plant nurseries
  • retail travel agents
  • photography stores
  • remaining auction houses and markets
  • tobacco and vape stores
  • betting shops (subject to additional COVID-Secure measures, such as limiting the use of gaming machines).
  • car washes (except for automatic car washes that are already open)

Personal care facilities and close contact services will reopen. This will include:

  • hair, beauty and nail salons
  • body and skin piercing services
  • tattoo studios
  • spas and massage centres (except for steam rooms and saunas)
  • holistic therapy (including acupuncture, homeopathy, and reflexology)
  • tanning salons

Indoor sports and leisure facilities will reopen. This will include at:

  • gyms and leisure centres
  • sports courts
  • swimming pools
  • dance studios and fitness centres
  • driving and shooting ranges
  • riding arenas
  • archery venues
  • climbing wall centres

Self-contained holiday accommodation in which all facilities (including for sleeping, catering, bathing, and indoor lobbies and corridors for entry and exit) are restricted to exclusive use of a single household/support bubble will reopen.

Outdoor areas at hospitality venues (cafes, restaurants, bars, pubs, social clubs, including in member’s clubs) can reopen, including for takeaway alcohol. Some venues may wish to erect outdoor shelters.

To be considered ‘outdoors’, shelters, marquees and other structures can have a roof but need to have at least 50 percent of the area of their walls open at all times whilst in use. These venues may allow customers to use toilets located inside.

At any premises serving alcohol, customers will be required to order, be served and eat/drink while seated (“table service”). Venues will be prohibited from providing smoking equipment, such as shisha pipes, for use on the premises.

Outdoor attractions will reopen at:

  • adventure parks and activities
  • animal attractions (such as at zoos, safari parks and aquariums)
  • drive in events, such as for cinemas, theatres, and other performances.
  • film studios
  • funfairs and fairgrounds
  • model villages
  • museums and galleries
  • skating rinks
  • theme parks
  • trampolining parks
  • water and aqua parks

Public buildings, such as community halls and centres, and libraries, can reopen.

What you can’t do:

  • People should continue to work from home where they can,and minimise domestic travel where they can.
  • Although gyms and spas reopen from April 12, saunas and steam rooms won’t reopen until May 17.
  • International holidays are still illegal.
  • You can’t meet up with anyone indoors not from your household until May 17 when it is hoped two households will be able to mix indoors overnight.
  • If you don’t fancy meeting at a restaurant or pub for a drink outdoors, you’ll need to wait until May 17 when hospitality venues will reopen their doors to customers inside.
  • film fans will have to wait until May 17 when cinemas are expected to reopen.
Businesses that can’t reopen:

Indoor entertainment and visitor attractions can’t reopen. This will include:

  • cinemas
  • theatres
  • concert halls
  • museums and galleries
  • adventure playgrounds and activities
  • amusement arcades and adult gaming centres
  • bingo halls
  • casinos
  • bowling alleys
  • skating rinks
  • games, recreation and entertainment venues such as escape rooms and laser quest
  • play areas (including soft play centres and inflatable parks)
  • model villages
  • snooker and pool halls
  • trampolining parks
  • water and aqua parks
  • indoor visitor attractions at theme parks and film studios
  • indoor attractions at zoos, safari parks, aquariums and other animal attractions
  • indoor attractions at botanical gardens, greenhouses and biomes
  • indoor attractions at sculpture parks
  • indoor attractions at landmarks including observation wheels or viewing platforms
  • indoor attractions at stately or historic homes, castles, or other heritage sites
  • conference centres and exhibition halls, including for the purposes of business events (subject to the capacity limits set out below)

This is all in effect from Monday April 12 right until the next step of the road map, which isn’t until May 17.

Until then wrap up warm as you hit the beer gardens and remember hands, face, space.