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What a lovely day it’s been today with the sun shining and restrictions lifted in Sefton


What are the new Covid rules from today, Monday 29th March? The easing of restrictions means that the ‘stay at home’ rule is also being eased to ‘stay local’.


The roadmap out of lockdown is underway in England, with the next set of Covid restrictions easing from today Monday, the 29th of March.


The second stage of the plans first stage involves a series of measures increasing peoples capacity to socialise outdoors ahead of schools breaking up for the Easter holidays.


While pubs, hairdressers and non-essential shops will remain closed, outdoor sports will be allowed to resume and the stay at home recommendation will be relaxed to “stay local”.


How are Covid rules changing from today 29 March?


Perhaps the most significant change of lockdown rules which has come in today is the return of the Rule of Six.


This means that groups of up to six people – or a maximum of two households of any size will be allowed to meet in any outdoor setting, including private gardens.


The expansion of the restrictions to encompass two larger households is significant, the government explains, as it “provides greater flexibility, recognising the different situations faced by families and individuals”.


Rules on outdoor childcare and supervised activities are easing, too. Parent and child groups can also take place outdoors with a limit of 15 attendees, children under five do not count towards this limit.


Outdoor sports are also allowed to resume, meaning tennis and basketball courts, outdoor swimming pools and golf courses can open again. Formally organised sports such as grassroots football will also restart for both adults and under-18s without being subject to the rule of six.


While weddings are still limited to a maximum of six attendees, they will no longer be limited to exceptional circumstances.


The easing of these restrictions means that the over-arching “stay at home” rule is also being eased.


However, people are still urged to work from home whenever possible and minimise the number of journeys they take, avoiding peak travel times.


The Government continues to advise that people “should not be staying away from home overnight at this stage”.


The changes coming in from today, 29th March mark the second half of the first step of lockdown roadmap, with the next changes due on 12 April.


Here’s how the easing of restrictions is set to proceed:

Step 2 – From 12 April

  • All non-essential retail can reopen

  • Pubs, restaurants and cafes can reopen, with outdoor seating only

  • Gyms and other indoor leisure can reopen (limited to household groups)

  • Hairdressers and other personal care businesses can open again

  • Domestic holidays can resume (limited to household groups)

  • Outdoor attractions like zoos and theme parks can reopen

  • Weddings and wakes can have up to 15 people

  • Libraries and community centres can reopen

  • All children’s activities can resume, including indoor parent and children groups with up to 15 parents

  • Tests will be conducted for larger events


Step 3 – From 17 May

  • Rule of Six will come into effect indoors (subject to review)

  • Indoor seating can resume in pubs and restaurants

  • Indoor entertainment venues like cinemas and theatres can reopen

  • Domestic overnight stays can resume

  • Organised indoor adult sport can start again

  • Weddings and other “significant life events” can include up to 30 people

  • Remaining outdoor entertainment, such as performances, can resume

  • Remaining accommodation can reopen


Step 4 – From 21 June

  • Larger events can resume

  • Night clubs can reopen

  • No legal limits on social contact


These stages are dependent on the Government’s “four tests” being fulfilled, which are:

  1. The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully

  2. Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated

  3. Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS

  4. Government assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new variants of concern


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