All the lockdown changes Boris Johnson is set to announce for England today - including hugs and sleepovers

10 May 2021, 07:19 | Updated: 10 May 2021, 07:27

Boris Johnson is holding a press conference today
Boris Johnson is holding a press conference today. Picture: Getty Images/PA Images
Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

What is the next step out of lockdown? Here's what we know...

Boris Johnson is set to give a 5pm press conference today confirming all the lockdown rules which can be eased in England on May 17.

With coronavirus cases continuing to drop across the country, the Prime Minister is expected to announce that we can enter ‘Step Three’ of the roadmap.

This means pubs and restaurants will be allowed to open indoors, while friends and family can finally hug.

Check out what Mr Johnson is expected to announce below:


Family and friends from different social bubbles are expected to be allowed to hug again for the first time since last year.

Friends and family will be able to hug again
Friends and family will be able to hug again. Picture: Getty Images

So far, more than half the population in the UK has had at least one vaccine, with the Telegraph reporting hugging can finally resume from May 17.

Michael Gove told the BBC: “Friendly contact - intimate contact - between friends and family is something we want to see restored.”

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But social distancing rules in public venues like shops, gyms, pubs and restaurants, will remain until at least June 21.

Overnight stays

From May 17, it’s expected that groups of six or fewer - or two households - will be allowed to meet indoors again.

Friends and family will also be allowed to stay at each other’s houses, but social distancing rules will stay in place for people in different bubbles.

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Pubs and restaurants can open indoors

Friends will no longer have to freeze outside in the cold Spring weather as the rule of six is thought to apply indoors as well.

From May 17, people will be allowed to dine and drink inside with five of their friends, while there will also be a maximum gathering size of six people or two households in private houses.

Outdoor gatherings

The rule of six outdoors is expected to be removed, which would be 30 people could meet outdoors. But social distancing rules still remain.

Saunas and steam rooms

Spas saunas and steam rooms could be allowed to reopen for the first time in months, while gyms can start up indoor exercise classes again.

Exercise classes can start up again
Exercise classes can start up again. Picture: Getty Images

Entertainment venues

The remainder of the entertainment sector is expected to reopen including cinemas, museums, and children’s play areas.

There will likely be social distancing measures in place, including face masks and the two metre rule to limit the spread of coronavirus.

Domestic holidays

Hotels, B&Bs and hostels are expected to reopen again, meaning people can stay overnight with people from different bubbles.

Currently, self-contained holiday accommodation can open in England, with people only allowed to mix in their own households.

Foreign travel

It is thought the legal ban on travelling internationally will be lifted from May 17, meaning people will be allowed to go on holiday.

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However, those choosing to leave the country may have to isolate on their return at home or in a £1,750 hotel.

Only ‘green list’ countries will be exempt from these rules, which include Portugal and Israel.

Funerals and weddings

There is currently a 30 person limit on mourners at funerals, but this could be scrapped completely.

Instead, venues themselves will decide how many people can safely attend while following strict social distancing rules.

The new rules will apply to both indoor and outdoor services.

However, weddings, receptions and wakes will continue to have a 30 person limit.

Large events

Outdoor venues are thought to be permitted to hold 4,000 people or half their capacity, whichever is lower.

In the largest outdoor venues, up to 10,000 people will be able to attend, or be a quarter-full, whichever is fewer.

As for indoor venues, they can hold capacities of 1,000 people or half-full, whichever is fewer.

This means music performances and sporting events can get back up and running.

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