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Coronavirus lockdown: What are the rules now?

After telling people to ‘stay at home’ for more than seven weeks, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has now eased lockdown restrictions slightly.

Mr Johnson outlined his new plan to get England out of lockdown in a 50-page document published this week, with the opening of some parts of the hospitality industry not taking place until July at the earliest.

The Government – which also coined a new ‘stay alert’ message – has come up with a conditional three-step plan, with step one seeing more outdoor exercise allowed and the ability to drive to places from this week.

Meanwhile, people who cannot work from home are now being ‘actively encouraged’ to resume their duties.

Step two, planned for June 1, will see a ‘phased return’ of early years settings and schools, the opening of non-essential retail when safe, and permission for cultural and sporting events behind closed doors.

Step three, no earlier than July 4, will see ‘at least some’ of the remaining businesses – such as those in the personal care and hospitality industries – reopen, as long as they follow secure safety guidelines.

Plans are subject to continuing data analysis.

So what has changed from this time last week?

Here is a guide:

  •  You can meet one other person from outside your household, as long as you are outdoors and 2m apart.
  •  You can now exercise outdoors as many times a day as you wish, or sit in the park with a picnic, with members of your household.
  •  You can play sports, such as fishing, golf and tennis, with members of your household or one other person, who you should distance from. Playgrounds and outdoor gyms remain closed.
  •  People can drive to places no matter how far away they are, but should maintain social distancing when out.
  • Garden centres are now open but with distancing in place.You still cannot visit friends and family in their homes, or gather in a group of more than two (excluding members of your own household).
  • This excludes gatherings set out in law, such as funerals and house moves.
  • You may leave home: for work, where you cannot do this at home; going to shops permitted to be open; for exercise; and any medical need or assistance for a vulnerable person.

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