What can open on April 12 when lockdown rules ease?

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a media briefing on COVID-19 from Downing Street.

Step 2 of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's lockdown roadmap is due to come into force on Monday, April 12. - Credit: PA

A further easing of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions is just around the corner.
 
The 'Rule of Six' returned to England on March 29, just in time for everyone to enjoy a bit of sunshine at the start of the Easter school holidays.
 
Monday also saw the government's "stay at home" message replaced with "stay local", with people flocking to Cambridge's parks and punting along the River Cam as they enjoyed greater freedom outdoors.

People enjoy a punt tour along the River Cam in Cambridge, on Monday, March 29, 2021.

People enjoy a punt tour along the River Cam in Cambridge, on Monday, March 29, 2021 - the first day of a major easing of England's coronavirus lockdown to allow far greater freedom outdoors. - Credit: PA

Provided there are no bumps in the road over the coming days, Step 2 of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's roadmap is scheduled for Monday, April 12.

From that date, pubs and hospitality in Royston and surrounding Hertfordshire and South Cambridgeshire villages will be able to serve customers a pint outdoors, you can go for a much-needed haircut, and zoos such as Shepreth Wildlife Park can finally welcome back visitors outdoors.

Major parts of the economy will also be reopening, including non-essential shops as well as gyms and leisure centres.


What shops and businesses can reopen when lockdown rules ease on April 12?

Non-essential retail can reopen from April 12, including clothing stores, charity and antique shops, florists, and tobacco and vape stores.

Drinkers can also enjoy a pint down the pub, provided it is outdoors in a beer garden. 

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It will be table service only as well, but thankfully, a "substantial meal" – such as a Cornish pasty or a Scotch egg – is no longer necessary to accompany your drink.

Restaurant dining and cafés will also be al fresco until indoor hospitality is allowed again at Step 3, which will be no earlier than May 17.

A Sumatran tiger at Shepreth Wildlife Park.

A Sumatran tiger at Shepreth Wildlife Park, which is set to reopen on April 12. - Credit: Danny Loo

Families can head to the zoo again from April 12, while drive-in events, such as for cinemas, theatres and other performances, will also be allowed. 

Shepreth Wildlife Park is planning on allowing visitors to return on April 12, with tickets available to book now.

Wildlife Walk tickets are being sold in 15-minute slots between 10am and 4.30pm.

A red panda at Shepreth Wildlife Park.

A red panda at Shepreth Wildlife Park. - Credit: Shepreth Wildlife Park

But you will have to wait to see a movie indoors at the nearest multiplex or community cinema such as Royston Picture Palace. 

Cinemas are not due to reopen until we reach Step 3 – which will be Monday, May 17 at the earliest.

From April 12, hairdressers and barbers can take bookings again, and nail salons, tattoo studios, spas and massage centres, and tanning salons can also reopen as part of the Step 2 rule changes.
 
You should be able to head to the gym again, as they along with other leisure facilities, including indoor swimming pools, are scheduled to reopen from Monday, April 12 in line with government guidelines.

IWM Duxford will open its outdoor spaces to the public from Monday, April 12. 

Duxford Outdoors will give visitors the chance to walk the length and breadth of this mile-long site, taking a self-guided trail through nine ‘discovery zones’.

Also allowed to open up will be "self-contained holiday accommodation".

This means holiday lets and cottages but only for a single household/support bubble.

When it comes to weddings and civil partnership ceremonies, up to 15 people will be allowed, an increase on the current six.
 
Thirty people are allowed to attend a funeral.

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