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Thursday, April 22, 2021

Easter lockdown rules: what you can and can’t do as restrictions begin to ease

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The “stay at home” rule has been lifted, meaning people are no longer legally required to stay in their homes or apartments unless they participate in a valid exception.

Likewise, the government has dropped its “stay local” message, which means households are no longer explicitly told to stay in their geographic area.

Instead, new guidelines encourage people to “minimize” travel – reflecting the fact that the government does not want people to continuously move across the country.

However, now nothing prevents someone from driving a few hundred miles, seeing a family member outside, and then returning home the same day, provided they don’t stay the night.

The change reflects Boris Johnson’s decision to prioritize family reunions in his reopening roadmap, with the PM acknowledging the tensions the lockdown has caused between those close to him.

This is because half of people now have anti-Covid-19 antibodies and deaths from the virus are at their lowest since October, official figures show.

The findings from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which prompted new calls on Tuesday to relax restrictions, suggest there is widespread immunity due to a previous infection or vaccination.

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Below we show you all the new rules and what they mean.

Rule of six

Gone is the restriction that someone could only meet one other person outside, replaced by a much broader rule about how many people can gather outside.

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There are two definitions of the new allowed groups.

One is the “rule of six”, which means that six people from many different households can now meet outside.

Children of any age are included in the count, which means that if six adults met and one of them carried a baby, it would be strictly against the rules.

The other authorized grouping consists of two different households.

This means that two large families can be found outside even if there are more than six people together.

Most importantly, however, such meetings are only allowed outdoors – mixing inside households is still strictly prohibited. Public and private outdoor spaces – such as a garden – are allowed.

This makes it easier for friends and families to get together over the Easter weekend.

Those in a support bubble will count as part of the same household, but people from different households will still have to move away socially from each other. Businesses, including hotels, remain closed.

Following the relaxation of the ‘stay at home’ orientation, a number of outdoor activities take place during the statutory holidays, including the National Trust which holds Easter egg hunts on its trails. natural.

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Social distancing

The government is keen to stress that even though outdoor group gatherings are ultimately allowed, that does not mean that social distancing rules can be ignored.

The advice remains the same: stay two meters from people as much as possible to minimize the risk of infection.

This remains true even for people who have been vaccinated, as the government has yet to release new guidelines on how those who have received the vaccine should act.

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The advice from Laverne Antrobus, the British psychologist, was released by the government on March 28, urging people to “be tough if people suggest breaking the rules.”

“Even though it has been so long since we have been able to hug our friends and family, we all need to keep our distance to stop the spread of the virus,” she said.

Travel

Although the “Stay Home” rule ended on March 29, the government has so far advised people to stay put, although no guidelines have been put in place to say what that means.

The guidelines say people “should continue to minimize travel where possible.”

A number of restrictions remain in place to limit movement, including advice against people staying away from their primary residence overnight – for example with friends or in rented accommodation. However, a loophole means that families who own a second home can now legally stay there.

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Campsites and self-catering holiday accommodation remain closed at least until April 12, after the Easter holidays. This is when a single household can move into self-contained accommodation elsewhere in the UK, provided they are left alone inside.

Holidays abroad are also banned and new Covid regulations have also come into force which prohibit traveling to an airport without a valid reason, with fines of £ 5,000 for anyone breaking them.

The only exemptions from the travel ban relate to work, study, moving or participating in a major family event such as a birth, marriage or funeral.

It comes as Boris Johnson has confirmed that the UK vacation roadmap will be unveiled on April 5. The government’s global travel task force was due to report on April 12, but at a government press conference on March 28, Mr Johnson confirmed the announcement would be made within a week. earlier than expected, with more details to be released on April 12.

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But many experts have warned that the Covid variants could cancel summer vacation abroad.

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