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COVID rules that are changing on 17 May

Bristol welcomes Step 3 of the Coronavirus Roadmap

Main image: Cineworld in Hengrove will be reopening on 19 May. Picture Google Maps.

Restrictions are being eased on Monday 17 May as part of England’s Coronavirus Roadmap – but the government is still urging the public to “continue to exercise caution”.

The easing comes despite the detection of a new variant first found in India – which Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned on Friday could make it “more difficult” to achieve the final step in June.

The rules on gathering have changed to allow groups of up to six people or two households to now meet indoors – so people can enter each other’s homes.

Hugging will be allowed between close family and friends – who will be able to choose whether or not to socially distance.

But wider social distancing rules will remain for adult social care, medical and retail as well as hospitality and business settings.

Some of the changes to restrictions
  • Groups of up to six people or two households can meet indoors and overnight visits are allowed.
  • The rule of six no longer applies outdoors – and people can meet in groups of up to 30.
  • Pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants can serve customers indoors – but hospitality guidance must be observed, such as individuals remaining seated.
  • Up to 30 people can attend weddings, receptions wakes and other life events.
  • Numbers at funerals are determined by how many people the venue can accommodate with social distancing
  • Care home residents will be able to have up to five named visitors (two at a time) who have tested negative – and greater freedom to make low risk visits outside
  • Face masks will no longer be needed in secondary school classrooms and university students will return to in-person teaching.
  • Museums, galleries and cinemas can reopen as well as bowling alleys, indoor play areas and arcades.
  • Theatres, concert halls and sports stadiums can reopen.
  • Indoor and outdoor events, including live performances, sporting and business events can begin again. Attendance will be capped according to venue type.
  • Organised adult sports – including gym classes – can restart.
  • Steam rooms and saunas can reopen.
  • All holiday accommodation, including hotels and B&Bs, can open. This can be used by groups of up to six or two households.

The ban on overseas holidays will end on May 17 – it will no longer be illegal to go abroad from today, with a traffic light system for countries. Those on the green list will mean travellers will not have to quarantine on their return.

For more information about the latest changes in Step 3 of the Roadmap visit: