Lockdown rules for meeting indoors – the new guidance from Monday

Meeting indoors is permitted from 17 May

Olivia Petter@oliviapetter1
Monday 17 May 2021 14:15

On Monday 10 May, Boris Johnson announced the latest stage in his roadmap out of lockdown, which comes into place from Monday 17 May.

As part of the plan, which the prime minister announced at a Downing Street briefing, changes will be made with regards to indoor socialising, which has previously been banned under lockdown restrictions.

While socialising has been permitted to take place between up to six people from different households outside since 12 April, they currently aren’t permitted to spend time in each other’s homes - unless passing through to get to the garden or to a private balcony.

Ahead of the Downing Street briefing, the UK reduced its Covid alert level from four to three, which means that the virus is in general circulation, transmission is not rising exponentially, enabling restrictions to be reduced.

There are also changes with regards to overnight stays and outdoor socialising. Here’s everything you need to know.

When will people be allowed to mix inside?

Boris Johnson confirmed that, as per the government’s roadmap, people will be able to meet indoors in England from 17 May, which marks stage three of the plan.

From that date, up to six people or two households can meet indoors.

Pubs, restaurants, and other hospitality venues will also be able to seat customers indoors for the first time, meaning you can go out for dinner with friends again and not have to sit outside.

Additionally, as part of this stage, indoor entertainment venues such as museums, theatres, cinemas and children’s play areas are expected to open.

Indoor events will also likely be able to take place with restrictions, capped at half capacity. For indoor events they can be at half capacity or 1,000 people.

The prime minister also announced that close relatives and friends will be able to hug one another again from 17 May.

Can people stay overnight at each other’s houses?

For the first time in months, from 17 May, people will be permitted to stay overnight with those who are not in their household or support bubble.

This means that couples who do not live together and are not in a support bubble together will be able to spend the night in each other’s homes.

What about outdoor socialising?

Whereas previously the maximum number of people who could socialise outdoors was six, from Monday 17 May, Mr Johnson revealed that people will be able to mix outside in groups of 30 or less.

This means that you can go to the pub or to a restaurant and sit outside in groups of up to 30 or less.

However, gatherings of over 30 people will remain illegal.

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