What are the new lockdown rules and what are the 5 levels of lockdown in the UK?


The UK has been in lockdown since March 23 (Picture: Ilyas Tayfun Salci/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

From today – Monday 1 June – some lockdown measures in the UK will be relaxed, with schools reopening their gates and non-essential shops slowly starting to open up their shutters.

Not only that – people in England are now allowed to socialise in groups of six – in an outdoor setting – while millions of people previously told to shield will be able to leave their homes.

However, in spite of the easing, strict social distancing measures remain in place.

So what are the new rules and what level of lockdown is the UK now in?

What are the new lockdown rules?

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While some restrictions have been eased it is worth noting that social distancing rules remain firmly in place.

That means you must remain at a two-metre distance from anyone outside of your household.

You are also not allowed to socialise indoors, nor stay at other people’s homes.

People are allowed to socialise outside – but at a distance (Picture: Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images)

Schools will go back

From today, reception, year one and year six students will return to school in England while nurseries and other early years settings will also resume.

The Prime Minister told the Downing Street coronavirus briefing on Thursday: ‘Closing schools has deprived children of their education and as so often, it is the most disadvantaged pupils who risk being hardest hit.

‘On Monday we will start to put this right in a safe way by reopening nurseries and other early years settings, and reception, year one and year six in primary schools.

‘A fortnight later, on June 15, secondary schools will begin to provide some face to face contact time for years 10 and 12.’

Schools will not yet reopen in Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales.

There are likely to be staggered entrance and exit times for children to help with social distancing (Picture: Getty Images / iStockphoto)

You can meet people from outside of your household

From today, in England, you can meet in groups of up to six people from different households in parks, or ‘private outdoor spaces’ providing you remain two metres apart.

From Friday in Scotland, members of two different households have been allowed to meet up in groups of up to eight, while Wales will follow similar rules from today.

Groups of four to six people who are not in the same household can meet up in Northern Ireland.

In all cases, strict social distancing measures must be maintained.

More: Coronavirus

‘Shielders’ will be able to go outside again

More than two million extremely vulnerable people who have been shielding from coronavirus will finally be able to meet friends and family outdoors from today.

Those based in England will be able to now go outside once a day with their household, or if they live alone, meet one other person at a two-metre distance.

Speaking at Sunday’s press briefing, communities secretary Robert Jenrick said: ‘From June 1, those in the shielded category will be advised that they can take initial steps to safely spend time outdoors. This is for England only but we are working with devolved powers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland who will issue their own guidance in due time. ‘

‘Those shielding will be able to go out with members of their household. They must still follow social distancing guidelines and make sure they keep a two metre distance at all times.

‘We want to assure that as well as reviewing lockdown, we will review the risks for the clinically extremely vulnerable.’

Anyone identified as ‘clinically vulnerable’ will have to shield until June 30.

Find out more information on the Government website.

Since people have been allowed to sunbathe, parks have been busy (Picture: Dominic Lipinski /PA)

Some shops will reopen

From Monday, outdoor retail and car showrooms will open, with other ‘non-essential retail’ opening up from June 15.

Johnson announced the changes on Thursday where he said: ‘We will also start to reopen shops as we restart our economy and we will begin on Monday with outdoor retail and car showrooms where social distancing is generally easier. And a fortnight later, on June 15, we intend to reopen other non-essential retail.’

He continued: ‘We know that if shops enforce social distancing as required by our Covid-secure guidelines, then the virus is less likely to spread and crucially, we know that transmission of the virus is far lower outdoors so we can confidently allow more interaction outside.’

Non-essential retail will open from June 15 (Picture: Tolga AKMEN / AFP) P

There will be no changes to travel rules and bars, restaurants and hairdressers are not set to open until July.

What are the 5 levels of lockdown in the UK?

The alert levels, defined by the Government’s 50-page strategy document are as follows:

Level 1 – Covid-19 is not known to be present in the UK
Level 2 – Covid-19 is present in the UK, but the number of cases and transmission is low
Level 3 – A Covid-19 epidemic is in general circulation
Level 4 – A Covid-19 epidemic is in general circulation; transmission is high or rising exponentially
Level 5 – As level 4 and there is a material risk of healthcare services being overwhelmed

Foreign secretary Dominic Raab confirmed on Sunday the country is in the process of ‘transitioning’ to level three, telling Sky’s Sophy Ridge: ‘We’re transitioning from level four to level three.’

MORE: Fiona Phillips quit social media after being ‘viciously trolled’ as she battled coronavirus

MORE: Dominic Raab says ‘we can’t just stay in lockdown forever’

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