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From 17th May

Current guidance

This applies to the whole of the UK

Things to Remember

Friends & Family

You are now permitted to meet with up to 6 people or 2 households inside (each household can include a support bubble, if eligible).

Most restrictions on meeting people outdoors have been lifted, but gatherings must not exceed 30 people unless covered by a legal exemption, such as:

  • for the purposes of work or volunteering
  • to provide care or assistance for disabled or vulnerable people

The rules for care home residents visiting out and receiving visitors have changed, allowing up to five named visitors (two at any one time), provided visitors test negative for COVID-19.

Food & Drink

Hospitality venues are now allowed to serve people indoors and outdoors and there is no need for customers to order a substantial meal with alcoholic drinks and no curfew, although customers must order, eat and drink while seated (‘table service’). Wider household mixing rules still apply so you can only mix in groups of 6 or with two households indoors and up to 30 outdoors. 


You should continue to work from home where you can.

If you cannot work from home you should continue to travel to your workplace. 


All primary, secondary schools and colleges are open. Wraparound childcare and other supervised children’s activities are allowed, where they enable parents to work, seek work, attend education, seek medical care or attend a support group.

All students are now able to resume in-person teaching and learning. Students should take a test before they travel to a non-term residence.

There is guidance for universities and students starting and returning to higher education.

Students should follow the guidance on how to stop the spread of COVID-19 at all times.


Up to 6 people from different households or a larger number of no more than 2 households can meet indoors without the need for a formal childcare arrangement. All children can go to registered childcare, childminders, wraparound care and other supervised children’s activities indoors and outdoors.

Parent and child groups can take place indoors as well as outdoors, with up to 30 people. Children under 5 who are accompanying a parent or guardian do not count towards this limit. 


You should continue to plan ahead and travel safely where possible.

You can plan ahead and travel safely by taking the following precautions:

  • walk or cycle where possible
  • plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport
  • regularly wash or sanitise your hands
  • wear a face covering on public transport, unless you’re exempt
  • make sure the space is well ventilated. Open windows or take other actions to let in plenty of fresh air

You must not share a private vehicle in groups larger than 6 people (except when everyone present is from no more than 2 households), unless your journey is made for an exempt reason.

There is additional guidance on safer travel, including on the safe use of public transport.

There are no longer any restrictions on leaving England to travel internationally, however to protect public health in the UK and the vaccine rollout, you should not travel to countries or territories on the red or amber lists.



There is no longer a maximum limit of 30 attendees at funerals. The number of people who can attend a funeral will be determined by how many people the venue can safely accommodate with social distancing measures in place.

Funerals are especially important events to the family and friends of the deceased and this is reflected in the fact that throughout the pandemic, funerals have had higher numerical limits than other life events.

Linked religious or belief-based commemorative events, such as wakes, stone settings and ash scatterings can be attended by a maximum of 30 people, not including anyone working. Commemorative events can take place in a COVID-19 Secure indoor venue, or outdoors including private gardens.

There is guidance for arranging or going to a funeral during the coronavirus pandemic.

Up to 30 people can be at a wedding, civil partnership ceremony or reception. Anyone working is not counted in these limits.

There is further guidance for small marriages and civil partnerships.

Significant life events such as christenings or Bar/Bat Mitzvahs can also be attended by a maximum of 30 people. Anyone working is not counted in these limits.


You can go to places of worship for a service. When a service is taking place indoors you must not mingle in groups larger than 6, except when everyone present is from no more than 2 households (including support bubbles). You should maintain social distancing between groups at all times.

When a service is taking place outdoors, you must not mingle in groups larger than 30. You should follow the national guidance on the safe use of places of worship.

Exercise, sport & physical activity

You can do unlimited exercise but there are limits on the number of people you can exercise with. You can exercise in a group of up to 30 people when outdoors. When indoors, you can exercise:

  • on your own
  • in a group of up to 6 people
  • in a larger group of any size from up to 2 households (and their support bubbles, if eligible)

You can also take part in formally organised indoor and outdoor sports or licensed physical activity with any number of people. This must be organised by a business, charity or public body and the organiser must take the required precautions, including the completion of a risk assessment. You should avoid contact in training and, for some sports, avoid contact in all activities. Read the guidance on what avoiding contact means for your sport.

Indoor leisure facilities may open for you to exercise on your own, in groups of up to 6 people or in a group of any size from up to 2 households.

Non-essential shops & leisure

Non-essential retail and personal care services such as hairdressers and nail salons can remain open, including those provided from a mobile setting.

Public buildings such as libraries and community centres remain open.

Most outdoor attractions including zoos, theme parks, and drive-in performances (such as cinemas and concerts) can reopen.

Indoor entertainment venues such as bingo halls, bowling alleys, and casinos may also reopen, as can indoor parts of outdoor attractions such as theme parks and animal attractions. Outdoor and indoor performance venues such as cinemas and theatres are also permitted to reopen.


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