/Covid: Everything reopening from April 12 as lockdown eases in England

Covid: Everything reopening from April 12 as lockdown eases in England

SEO: Everything that's allowed to re-open today in the latest easing of lockdown rules in England
Pubs, non-essential shops and swimmings pools will all reopen from April 12 (Picture: Rex/ Getty Images)

From Monday April 12, a new set of Covid rules will be loosened in England, allowing people to sit in a beer garden, get a haircut or go for a long-awaited swim indoors.

The lifting of some restrictions is part of Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown. The Prime Minister has repeatedly said he wants the rule changes to be a ‘cautious but irreversible’ part of the nation’s journey out of the pandemic.

However, with around 40% of adults still yet to receive their first dose of a Covid vaccine, there are many restrictions that will remain in place, despite the easing of some rules.

Face masks will be required inside shops and on public transport, and groups of friends are still being asked to social distance when they meet up outside. Here’s everything you can do from April 12.

Eating and drinking with friends

Pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes will once more reopen to the public, but with seating only available outside. Guests will also be limited to sitting in groups of no more than six.

Customers will no longer be required to buy a substantial meal to be served alongside alcohol they buy, and last year’s curfew will not return. The requirement to eat and drink while seated will remain.

A group of lads enjoying their first pint as pub, bars and hairdressers reopened for the first time since March on 5 July in Sheffield, UK. (Photo by Giannis Alexopoulos/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Groups of six can enjoy drinks or a meal together outside (Picture: Getty Images)

A hairdresser wearing a face mask or covering due to the COVID-19 pandemic, cuts a customer's hair at 'Khan-Master's Hairdressing' in Peckham, south London on July 13, 2020, as novel coronavirus lockdown restrictions in England are further relaxed to allow nail bars, beauty salons and tattoo parlours to open. (Photo by Niklas HALLE'N / AFP) (Photo by NIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP via Getty Images)
Hair cuts will have to be simple and quick (Picture: Getty Images)

Hairdressing and salons

From Monday, people in England will be allowed to get their hair cut, while nail and beauty salons will also reopen. This will include premises such as tanning clinics and tattoo parlours.

However, Government advice states that any services offered must be ‘short and basic’, meaning hairdressers aren’t yet allowed to do lengthy treatments such as braiding, highlights or weaves.

Both staff and customers will also be asked to wear face coverings while inside the premises, while businesses have been advised to open window and doors on-site to help with ventilation.

Gyms and swim

Leisure centres will reopen from April 12, but members will only be able to use the gym and swimming pool for the time being, with exercise classes not returning until May 17.

Government guidelines also state that people should not meet their friends or family for an indoor workout, unless they all live in the same household together.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Amer Ghazzal/REX (11849458n) Shoppers on Oxford Street walk past Selfriges department store beofre the reopening on the 12th April following the third national covid-19 lockdown Shops in Oxford Street prepare for reopening, Oxford Street, London, UK - 08 Apr 2021
People will be able to hit the high street for the first time in months (Picture: Rex)


Non-essential shops will reopen to the public, but customers will still be required to wear a face covering before they enter.

Similarly to exercising indoors, the Government has made it clear people should only visit shops alone or with their household group. They will also be asked to comply with any rules the shop may have in place, such as one-way systems, or sanitisation on entry.

Visiting care homes

Care home residents will now be allowed to have two named visitors, having been allowed one for the first time in March. The visitors will be allowed to attend the care home regularly, and can come together or separately.

The guests will still need to take Covid tests before they enter the care home and will also be required to wear PPE for their visit.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Alex Lentati/LNP/REX/Shutterstock (10687852j) Pub goers Simon O'Brien 25 and Megan Van Dessel 26 from Kennington, enjoy a takeaway pint at the Black Lion Pub along the banks of the River Thames in Hammersmith, West London as forecasters predict a warm week ahead with temperatures set to reach over 30c. Tomorrow, Prime Minister, Boris Johnson is expected to give the green light to loosening of the 2 metre social distancing rule with hotels and campsites set to reopen in the next 2 weeks. Warm weather sees members of the public go out to enjoy the sunshine with a takeaway pint, London, UK - 22 Jun 2020
People will be allowed to go on self-catered holidays with members of their household or bubble (Picture: Rex)

Self-catered holidays

The new easing of restrictions allow for people to go on breaks within England and Wales, with travel between the two countries now permitted. Anyone who wishes to stay overnight must do so in self-contained accommodation, with members of their household or bubble.

This means families will be able to get away to a private cottage, caravan or campsite from Monday onwards.

International travel remains illegal despite the restrictions easing, and anyone caught trying to leave the UK without a reasonable excuse could be fined up to £5,000. Travel to Scotland and Northern Ireland from England also remains banned, unless the journey is essential.

Theme park and outdoor attractions

The majority of outdoor settings and attractions can reopen from Monday, including zoos, theme parks and drive-in cinemas, the Government has said.

This also includes seaside piers, botanical gardens and the grounds of castles, forts or stately homes.

Traffic crosses the England/Wales border past a Welcome to Wales sign near Chepstow in Monmouthshire, Wales on October 17, 2020, as further restrictions come into force as the number of novel coronavirus COVID-19 cases rises. - Wales's First Minister Mark Drakeford, announced Wednesday that Welsh police forces will carry out extra patrols on main roads to enforce a planned travel ban to prevent people entering Wales from Covid hotspots in the UK. (Photo by Geoff Caddick / AFP) (Photo by GEOFF CADDICK/AFP via Getty Images)
Cross-border travel is now allowed without a reasonable excuse (Picture: Getty Images)

Couple getting married in church
Up to 15 people will now be allowed to attend a wedding or civil partnership (Picture: Getty Images)

Children’s activities

Organised parent and child groups of up to 15 people, not including those under the age of five, will now be allowed to restart indoors.


Libraries and community centres will be open again from Monday, with visitors asked to wear face masks and only attend with members of their households. Some sites may have a limit on how many people can be inside at one time.

Driving lessons

Learner drivers will be able to resume their lessons starting from April 12, so-long as they wear a face mask in the vehicle. Theory tests will also resume, but practical tests won’t return until April 22.

Weddings and funerals

Up to 15 people will now be allowed to attend a wedding or civil partnership, while 30 people can still go to a funeral service, the new rules state.

Receptions will also be allowed to take place again, with up to 15 people having a sit-down meal together at an outdoor venue. They cannot take place inside people’s private gardens.

Similarly, up to 15 people can now also attend a wake after a funeral, but this cannot take place inside a private home.

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