Some normality as PM gives green light for 17th May

The Prime Minister has urged restraint as life is set to return to some degree of normality next week, when the latest relaxation of Covid restrictions has been given the green light. The alert level has now reduced to 3.

Briefly (more later), this means that from May 17th:

  • Just as universities draw to an end of teaching for 2020-21 academic year, all university students in England will be allowed to campus for face-to-face teaching next week. So, that’s a bit of a damp squib.
  • Pupils will no longer be advised to wear face coverings in schools and colleges from 17 May, as infection rates decrease and the vaccination roll-out covers most adults.
  • The “stay in the UK” restriction will lift from Monday and people will be able to travel to green-list countries.
  • Pubs and restaurants can serve people inside from next Monday
  • Galleries, theatres, cinemas and soft play centres can also reopen.
  • People will be able to meet inside in groups of six, or two households.
  • Up to 30 people will be allowed to attend weddings, receptions, funerals and wakes.
  • Hugging will be allowed – but think before you hug.
  • All remaining accommodation including hotels, hostels and B & Bs can reopen from Monday.
  • Care home visiting will be eased further, with residents able to have up to 5 named visitors and make low risk visits out of the home.
  • Some mass events will begin to restart.
  • people should continue to follow social distancing rules when not with family and friends.

We are not quite back to normal yet, but it is another giant step along the way. The remaining step on the roadmap is due to take place no earlier than 21 June, which could see an end to all legal Covid restrictions. Some measures, including social distancing, may remain.

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