COVID-19: Lockdown roadmap dates – what’s opening when, and what’s allowed with how many people?

Each UK nation has set out a roadmap out of lockdown with specific dates.

Here are the timetables for lifting COVID-19 restrictions in each UK nation:


There are four steps to easing England’s lockdown.

The prime minister hopes to be able to lift the majority of rules by 21 June, but this is dependent on cases, deaths and hospital admissions continuing to fall so the dates are the earliest any of the stated rules could be lifted.

There will be no regional tier systems – England will be treated as one in the easing of lockdown.

Step one was completed in two parts on 8 and 29 March, including schools returning and groups of six people allowed to meet outdoors.

Step two was completed on 12 April when non-essential shops, gyms, hairdressers, nail salons, libraries and outdoor attractions reopened, while bars and restaurants were allowed to serve customers outdoors, and groups limited to two households or by the “rule of six”.

Step three – since 17 May:

  • Outdoors, most social contact rules have been lifted, but gatherings of more than 30 are illegal
  • Indoors, the rule of six or a larger group of up to two households is allowed
  • Indoor hospitality – pubs, restaurants, cinemas, theatres, bowling alleys, museums, galleries, concert halls, children play areas, hotels, B&Bs, indoor exercise classes – is allowed
  • People can make a personal choice on whether to distance from friends and families – but should remain cautious
  • Large indoor performances and sporting events with a capacity of 1,000 people are allowed
  • Outdoor large performances and sporting events must have a maximum capacity of 4,000 people or must only be half full, whichever is lower
  • Bigger sports stadiums are allowed 10,000 people or can only be a quarter full, whichever is lower
  • Testing will be used to support these openings
  • Weddings, wedding receptions, wakes, bar/bat mitzvahs and christenings are allowed with 30 people
  • Funerals are allowed with as many people as a COVID-secure venue can accommodate with social distancing
  • Care home residents can have up to five named visitors – two at a time – if visitors have tested negative
  • Remaining university students to return to campus, with new home testing kits to be provided to increase testing uptake and help limit virus transmission
  • Support groups and parent and child group gathering limits increased to 30 people (not including under 5s)
  • Legal restriction or permitted reason requirement to travel internationally has been lifted – but traffic light system applies.

Step four – 21 June:

  • All legal limits on social contact removed
  • Government hopes to reopen nightclubs and lift restrictions on large events such as festivals
  • Testing could be used as a condition of entry
  • Ministers hope to remove restrictions on weddings

Yet to be decided

There are a few rules and issues that have not yet been agreed and will be subject to review during the easing of lockdown.

1. The one-metre plus rule, mandatory facemasks and working from home

The government hopes to conclude a review of this before step four.

2. Whether you can use proof of having a COVID-19 vaccine to enter mass events

The government hopes to set out the conclusion of a review prior to step four on whether vaccine or test certificates could be used to reopen the rest of the economy.

3. International travel

The government has said this will not resume before 17 May.

4. Major events

The government has said testing could be used to ensure people can safely attend large events.


More restrictions lifted were from 3 May, with gyms, leisure centres and fitness facilities allowed to reopen.

Other things permitted to get back to business included community centres, indoor supervised activities for children, and indoor organised activities for up to 15 adults, such as exercise classes.

An extended household rule also allows two households to form an exclusive bubble and have contact indoors.

The outdoor reopening of pubs, restaurants, cafes and other hospitality businesses took place on 26 April, when outdoor activities for up to 30 people were also allowed.

That came after other restrictions were eased on 24 April, allowing any six people to meet up outdoors.

Level two – since 17 May

  • Indoor hospitality – bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes – with the rule of six (not including children under 11)
  • Tourism accommodation reopened
  • Entertainment venues – cinemas, bingo halls, bowling alleys, indoor play areas, casinos, amusement arcades, theatres, museums, galleries – reopened
  • Up to 30 people can take part in organised indoor activities – up to 50 people outdoors (including wedding receptions and wakes)
  • International travel allowed

Level one – to be decided

  • Up to six people from outside a household bubble can meet in private homes
  • A bubble of two households can form
  • Up to 30 people can meet indoors
  • Organised activities can have 50 people indoors and 100 outdoors, including weddings
  • Nightclubs and adult entertainment venues must remain closed.

Northern Ireland

A further relaxing of restrictions on 23 April saw close contact services such as hairdressers reopen as well as outdoor visitor attractions. Driving lessons and tests resumed, and there was a return to competitive sports for clubs.

The executive reviewed its roadmap out of lockdown on 15 April and decided to bring reopening dates forward from May and June, with the final 24 May date subject to review that month.

Since 30 April, people in Northern Ireland have been able to have garden gatherings of 15 from no more than three households, all retail opened, self-catering domestic holidays with your own household are allowed, outdoor hospitality with a maximum of six people from two households are also allowed, while gyms and swimming pools reopened.

The 11pm takeaway curfew and 8pm off-licence curfew were removed.

Decisions on moving between stages will be based on scientific and medical evidence, ministers have said.

The next steps are as follows:

From 24 May:

  • Indoor hospitality reopened – with a maximum of six people or more if from one household (children under 12 do not count)
  • Indoor visitor attractions reopened subject to maximum numbers permitted
  • Indoor group exercise and training in number limited to venue
  • Up to 500 people can attend outdoor gatherings.


Scotland moved from Level 4 to Level 3 on 26 April, seeing beer gardens, shops and cafes reopen, along with non-essential shops, gyms, swimming pools, libraries and museums.

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

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

Driving lessons and tests resumed, and tests restarted on 6 May.

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

Travel between Scotland, England and Wales is also permitted and tourist accommodation can welcome back visitors.

Since 17 May

  • Scotland moved from Level 3 to Level 2
  • Indoor socialising is allowed, with four people from two households permitted to gather
  • Rules around outdoor mixing eased further
  • Pubs allowed to reopen indoors
  • Cinemas, amusement arcades and bingo halls able to reopen
  • Outdoor contact sport for adults returned.


Scotland was set to move to Level 1 at the start of the month, before dropping to Level 0 before the end of June but this has now been delayed due to the Indian variant.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said she cannot say when restrictions will be scrapped entirely.

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