ENGLAND is slowly returning to some normality, as non-essential shops reopen TODAY (June 15) and single Brits will be able to see their loved ones.
But the UK lockdown following the coronavirus outbreak has resulted in big changes. Below is a breakdown of the new rules.
Brits are now allowed to go clothes shopping, to the zoo or to places of worship for private prayer, as the rules changed on Monday, June 15,
Face coverings on public transport is also mandatory, meaning you might be denied travel if you’re not wearing one.
In schools, meanwhile, more youngsters are allowed in – with older pupils welcomed back in smaller class sizes.
But some of the strictest rules will stay in place, with pubs, bars, restaurants and hairdressers closed until July at the earliest, the two-metre rule still unchanged, and the 14-day quarantine for holidaymakers returning to the UK remaining in place.
Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming coronavirus lockdown changes.
On Wednesday, June 10, the Prime Minister announced that people living alone in England will be allowed to stay at someone else’s house from this weekend.
Boris Johnson said that Brits who live on their own, or are a single parent with kids under 18, would be able to visit another household – of any size – without following social distancing rules.
Speaking at the Downing Street press conference, the PM said: “All those in a support bubble will be able to act as if they live in the same household, meaning they can spend time together inside each others’ homes and do not need to stay two metres apart”.
However, Mr Johnson added that “support bubbles must be exclusive”, meaning you can’t change the household you are in a bubble with.
There were 8.2 million people living alone in the UK last year, according to the Office for National Statistics, and the change could be a huge help for older people suffering from loneliness.
Non-essential shops reopened for the first time in almost three months on June 15.
Now, Brits can head out to buy clothes, furniture and kitchenware on the high street.
Big brands reopening their branches from June 15 include Argos, Debenhams, H&M, Primark and John Lewis.
However, there are plans in place for strict social distancing rules for shoppers.
This will likely see one-way systems down the isles, and limits on the number of customers allowed in.
MANDATORY FACE COVERINGS
You will need to wear a face covering if you want to travel on public transport from June 15.
Speaking in early June, Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, said that Brits could make their mask at home, and shouldn’t wear ones used in hospitals.
He told the Downing Street press conference on June 4: “That doesn’t mean surgical masks, which we must keep for clinical settings. It means the kind of face covering you can easily make at home.”
If you’re found not wearing a face covering, you might be refused travel and could face a fine of up to £100 – or £50 if paid in 14 days.
There will be exceptions for young kids and disabled people.
Also, all hospital visitors must wwear face coverings from June 15.
ZOOS AND CINEMAS REOPEN
Zoos, safari parks and drive-in cinemas in England are allowed to reopen too.
The announcement came amid fears that some zoos would be bankrupted if forced to stay closed over summer.
Edward Perry, managing director of Knowsley Safari, in Merseyside, said while it was “very good news”, he wanted the park to have reopened sooner.
He commented: “Knowsley Safari has been ready for the past week to safely open to the public and we still can’t understand why it’s been OK for people to jump in their cars to go and get Big Macs but not to come and see our big cats.”
However, the Prime Minister has said that some areas will still be off limits – in particular indoor areas like reptile houses.
Places of worship across England opened their doors on June 15.
But large gatherings will still not be allowed, meaning people will can only pray while following social distancing rules.
The Government has said that all churches will need to be cleaned regularly, and books cannot be shared.
Places of worship haven’t been open since March 23, when lockdown began.
BACK TO SCHOOL
There are also set to be some big changes in the classroom, with Year 10 and Year 12 pupils allowed back in waves.
The Government has announced that only a quarter of kids will be allowed in school at a time – meaning that for some kids, they could get just one full day of teaching each week.
Classrooms will have undergone some huge changes since March, with less desks, more frequent cleaning, and only minimal contact between pupils.
When they’re not at school, children will still be required to complete remote learning, with the Government saying it should remain “the predominant mode of education”.
Plans for other years to return to the classroom have been delayed, with the Education Secretary last week saying that not all primary school kids will go back before summer.
“We are not able to welcome all primary children back for a full month before the summer,” Gavin Williamson admitted on Tuesday.
STILL TO COME
Some of the biggest changes are still to come, with bars and pubs still shut and the two-metre rule still being enforced.
The Government has said that most other shops will be allowed to reopen from July 4 at the earliest – meaning Brits can get a proper haircut for the first time in months.
Meanwhile, social distancing rules are currently under review, with the Government’s scientific advisers looking into whether it can be reduced.
This would mean that shops, boozers and restaurants could let more customers in.
Air bridges between the UK and other countries – which could see Brits allowed on summer holidays – are also yet to be agreed.
Brits, who go abroad, must self-isolate for two weeks when they return to the country.
However, air bridges could be agreed by June 29, with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps saying last week that the Government is “actively working” on them.