This is how lockdown rules will change from 1 June - from shops reopening to public gatherings

The government’s aim is that the next step will be made no earlier than Monday 1 June (Getty Images)The government’s aim is that the next step will be made no earlier than Monday 1 June (Getty Images)
The government’s aim is that the next step will be made no earlier than Monday 1 June (Getty Images)

While lockdown measures have slowly begun to ease, a further lifting of restrictions will soon be implemented across England.

The UK government must review lockdown measures every three weeks, with the next update due to take place on 28 May.

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Any amendments made to the current rules will then come into force a few days later, from 1 June.

The Prime Minister is expected to lead the Downing Street press conference on Thursday (28 May), which will come after the latest SAGE meeting at which lockdown measures were reviewed.

It has not yet been confirmed if Boris Johnson will announce the outcome of the review in the latest press briefing, or if this will be revealed in a few days time.

What restrictions are likely to change?

The next lockdown review in England will first consider the effects of the changes made at the last review, with any further amendments to be warranted by the current alert level.

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The government’s aim is that the next step will be made no earlier than Monday 1 June, subject to it being safe to do so.

The current planning assumption for England is that phase two of easing lockdown will likely include the following measures:

A phased return for schools

Schools could begin to reopen for more children from 1 June, with the government expecting pupils to be able to return to early years settings, and for Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 to be back in school in smaller sizes, from this point.

Opening non-essential retail

The Prime MInister has said outdoor markets and showrooms will be permitted to start trading again in England from 1 June, providing customers can be kept safe.

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All other non-essential retailers, including shops selling clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, books, and electronics, plus tailors, auction houses, photography studios, and indoor markets, will be allowed to follow suit and reopen to customers two weeks later, from 15 June.

Permitting cultural and sporting events

Cultural and sporting events could be allowed to take place behind closed doors for broadcast, while avoiding the risk of large-scale social contact.

Reopening more local public transport

More local public transport in urban areas will be reopened, subject to strict measures to limit the risk of infection.

Will visiting family and friends be allowed?

The government is considering a range of options to help ease social restrictions.

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Currently, in England people can meet with one person from a different household in a public place, providing social distancing is maintained, but visiting the homes of family and friends is still not allowed.

However, the government has asked SAGE to examine whether it can safely change regulations to allow people to expand their household group to include another household in the same exclusive group.

The intention of this would be to allow those who are isolated some more social contact, as well as supporting some families to return to work, by permitting the sharing of childcare.

This could be based on the New Zealand model of household "bubbles" where a single "bubble" is the people you live with.

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As in New Zealand, the rationale behind keeping household groups small is to limit the number of social contacts people have and to limit the risk of interhousehold transmissions.

What changes will be made elsewhere in the UK?

These are the changes to lockdown measures that could soon be made in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.


Several lockdown measures are to be relaxed in Scotland from Friday (29 May), following the Scottish government’s latest review on 28 May, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirming the country will enter phase one of its four-phase plan.

Changes to rules include allowing outdoor work and construction to resume, the reopening of garden and recycling centres, and gradually reopening drive thru food outlets to customers.

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Teachers will be allowed able to enter schools from 1 June, and from Wednesday 3 June, childcare will be available to a wider group of people.

However, schools in Scotland will reopen later on 11 August, but children will return to a "blended model" where they will do a mix of school and home learning.

People will also be permitted to meet other households, providing a two metre distance is maintained and no more than eight people are in a group at once. However, people should not try to meet up with two different households in one day and entering the homes of other people is still not allowed.

Scots are now allowed to travel to different areas for recreation, although this should not be further than five miles from their home, and some outdoor leisure activities can resume, including golf, tennis, bowls and fishing.

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People can also sit out and sunbathe in parks and open areas, but Ms Sturgeon warned that if people see crowds of gathered in outdoors, they are encouraged not to join them.


Wales will hold its next lockdown review on 28 May, with the government set to introduce a ‘traffic light system’ to gradually ease restrictions.

Welsh first minister Mark Drakeford has said people in Wales will have to stick to lockdown advice to “Stay Home, Protect our NHS and Save Lives”, before the government starts to move into the next phase of the roadmap.

The phased approach has three ‘zones’ of red, amber and green, and the exit plan will not be given a timeframe for when the country could expect to see any changes.

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In the red zone, local travel will be allowed, including click and collect for retail, and people will be permitted to provide support to one family member or friend outside of their own household.

The amber zone involves “priority groups of pupils” being allowed to return to school in stages, allowing people to travel for leisure with small groups of family or friends for exercise, and the reopening of non-essential retail and services.

The government also aims to get more people travelling to work by this stage.

The final green zone will allow all children and students to go back to school and access education, unrestricted travel will be allowed, subject to ongoing precautions, and all sports, leisure and cultural activities with friends will be permitted, providing people maintain social distancing.

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Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland has outlined a five-stage plan for easing lockdown.

The lifting of restrictions does not include a timetable, but the First Minister has said she hopes to reach the final stage by December.

In the first stage, groups of four to six people who do not share a household are now allowed to meet outdoors, while maintaining social distancing, and large outdoor-based retailers, such as garden centres, can also reopen.

The next review of measures is to take place on 28 May.

Changes in stage two of the plan could see non-food retailers be allowed to reopen, groups of up to 10 people allowed to meet outdoors, the reopening of outdoor museums and selected libraries, and the resumption of team sports training on a non-contact basis in small groups.

There could also be a phased return of schools at the start of a new educational year in September, the education minister has said.