Covid-19: What can I do from today?

The easing of lockdown restrictions come into play today, so we’re breaking down the new rules for you here.

Gathering limits 

You can now gather outdoors with up to 30 people and indoors with up to six people or two households. Each household can include a support bubble if you are eligible.

The 2-metre rule

The new emphasis is on personal responsibility instead of government-enforced restrictions.

Instead of staying two metres apart from anyone you don’t live with, you are encouraged to exercise caution and consider the guidance on risks associated with COVID-19 and actions you can take to help keep you and your loved ones safe.


Indoor hospitality venues such as restaurants, pubs, bars and cafes have now reopened.


If you cannot work from home you should continue to travel to your workplace. You do not need to be classed as a critical worker to go to work if you cannot work from home.

Care homes

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

Indoor events

Entertainment and attractions such as cinemas, theatres, concert halls, bowling alleys, casinos, amusement arcades, museums and children’s indoor play areas are permitted to open (with COVID measures in place).

Sport and exercise

Organised indoor sport can now take place, including gym classes. These must be organised by a business, charity or public body and the organiser must take reasonable measures to reduce any risks.


Attendance is no longer be limited to 30 people – it will instead be determined by how many people the COVID-secure venue can safely accommodate with social distancing.

Limits for weddings, wakes, bar/bat mitzvahs, christenings and other events have been increased to 30 people.


Secondary school pupils and college students in parts of north west will continue to wear masks due to concerns about the Covid-19 Indian variant.

All higher education students are now able to access in-person teaching.

Volunteering and charitable services

Gatherings above the limit of six people or two households indoors, or above 30 people outdoors can now take place for the purposes of providing voluntary or charitable services.

Face coverings 

You must still wear a face-covering in many indoor settings, such as shops and places of worship, and on public transport, unless you are exempt or have a reasonable excuse. This is still the law.

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable

You are no longer advised to shield, however, you are advised to follow the guidance for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable and are advised to take extra precautions.

If you have been vaccinated against COVID-19

Even if you have been vaccinated, you could still spread COVID-19 even if you do not display any symptoms. You should still follow all current rules and guidelines.


There is no longer a legal restriction or permitted reason required to travel internationally.

The government has issued a red, amber and green list of countries- you are advised not to travel to amber or red countries.

On arrival in England, you will have to take a COVID-19 test on or before day two after you arrive. You will not need to quarantine unless the test result is positive.

Countries added onto the green list today (17 May) include:

1. Portugal
2. Israel
3. Singapore
4. Australia
5. New Zealand
6. Brunei
7. Iceland
8. Gibraltar
9. Falkland Islands
10. Faroe Islands
11. South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
12. St Helena, Tristan de Cunha, Ascension Island

What is the new variant?

Bolton is currently responding to rising COVID-19 rates. Enhanced testing and a vaccine drive are among the measures that have been rolled out in the most affected areas.

The Indian variant has also been detected in Greater Manchester, in Blackburn, Lancashire and in Sefton, Merseyside.

How are you feeling about these new rules?


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