UK lockdown: Household mixing loophole for families but kickabouts in the park banned – new Covid rules explained

THE Government's roadmap out of lockdown will come into law next Monday as the UK looks to leave its Covid nightmare behind.

And after the 'Tier' system last year, Downing Street's new system will now evolve around 'Steps' – with 'Step 1' having the most severe restrictions.

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Below we are going to explain the rule changes including a ban on foreign holidays.

The rules on household mixing have also changed meaning two families can mix indoors but only if there are kids aged under 13.

What is Step 1?

From March 29, all of England will be in be under Step 1 restrictions.

This means the Rule of Six is back with outdoors gatherings, including in gardens, being permitted.

Two separate households will also be allowed to meet up outside.

The Stay at Home rule will also end on March 29 meaning Brits will no longer have to stay 'local' when leaving their homes.

That means people can visit family members a couple of hours drive awayor visit a park in another part of the country and not be fined.

The rule sparked controversy when two women were fined £200 for driving five miles for a walk in the park in Derbyshire.

People are still being encouraged to work from home and minimise their journeys.

The big news to emerge from these rule changes is that foreign holidays have been banned for the first time due to the risk of mutant Covid variants abroad.

Downing Street has launched a new Taskforce to review the travel ban and deliver a report on April 12.

There is also a loophole regarding to two households mixing indoors called the 'linked childcare household.'

This two households can meet if one has a child aged 13 or under which the second household looks after.

Peaceful protests will also be allowed under the new rule from March 29.

This follows the mishandling of the Sarah Everard vigil on March 13 when cops were seen clashing with women paying their respects to the Londoner who was murdered while walking home.

What is Step 2?

This will come into place on April 12.

As already laid out in the government's roadmap, non-essential shops will reopen as well as gyms and public buildings such as libraries.

Outdoor venues such as zoos, drive-in cinemas and other outdoor hospitality venues will be opening up to the public.

People drinking in outdoors venues, such as pub gardens, will not be required to order food but must eat and drink while seated.

Campsites and holidays lets will also be open for business.

What is Step 3?

This will come into place no earlier than May 17.

Most restrictions on social contact outdoors will be lifted while gatherings of more than 30 people will still be banned.

The Rule of Six or the two households rule will be reviewed and potentially changed.

Indoor hospitality – such as restaurants, pubs and cafes – will reopen and there will be no curfew.

Cinemas will finally reopen in Step 3 as well along with hotels, hostels and B&Bs.

Reasonable reasons to travel outside the UK

  • Travel within the Common Travel Area
  • Where it's necessary for work
  • For study outside the UK
  • For volunteer or charity work
  • Elite sportspeople- for training or competitions
  • To fulfil a legal obligation
  • To seek medical assistance or appointments
  • For the purpose of moving house or viewing a house to buy or rent
  • To be at the birth of a child at the mum's request
  • To visit someone in a hospice or care home – but only close friends and family
  • To visit someone who is dying – close friends and family only
  • To attend a funeral
  • For childcare purposes
  • You are getting married outside the UK
  • Contact with siblings for children in care
  • If you don't live in the UK permanently and are going home

Indoors venues hosting entertainment or sporting events will also reopen with a maximum capacity of 1,000 people.

Outdoor entertainment venues will be allowed a capacity of 4,000 while larger, seated, outdoor venues will bed allowed to gave 10,000 people attending.

Up to 30 people will be able to attend weddings and funerals.

What is Step 4?

This will take place no earlier than June 21 and will hopefully see all restrictions on social contact removed.

Before this step the government will review the wearing of face masks and social distancing in public.

Nightclubs and other remaining venues will be reopened and restrictions on large events will also be eased.

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