These are the Covid lockdown rules that are changing from May 17

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has set out the next stage of lockdown, set to change today (Monday).

By Abigail Kellett
Monday, 17th May 2021, 8:35 am
These are the Covid lockdown rules that are changing from May 17
These are the Covid lockdown rules that are changing from May 17

Here are all the main rule changes that have now come into effect under step three of the Government s roadmap out of lockdown:

Social contact

Meetings of up to 30 are permitted outdoors. Gatherings of over 30 people will remain illegal.

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Indoors the Rule of Six or two households will apply.

Following a review of social distancing, people can make informed, personal decisions on close contact, such as hugging, with their friends and family. Close contact continues to carry a risk of catching or spreading COVID-19, and people must consider the risk to themselves and to others. COVID-secure rules remain for the workplace and businesses, such as in shops and hospitality.

Care homes residents will be able to have up to five named visitors, with two visitors able to attend at once provided they are tested and follow infection control measures. Residents will also have greater freedoms to leave their home without having to isolate on their return.

Business and activities

Indoor hospitality can reopen.

Indoor entertainment can resume, including cinemas, museums, and children’s play areas.

All remaining outdoor entertainment can reopen, such as outdoor cinemas and performances. Some larger events will be able to take place, including conferences, theatre and concert performances, and sports events.

The rest of the accommodation sector, including hotels, hostels and B&Bs; and indoor adult group sports and exercise classes will also be able to re-open.

Organised adult sport and exercise classes can resume indoors and saunas and steam rooms may reopen.


Up to 30 people will be able to attend weddings, receptions and wakes. This limit will also apply to other types of significant life events including bar mitzvahs and christenings. These can take place outdoors or at any indoor Covid secure venue that is permitted to open.

The number of people able to attend a funeral will be determined by the number that can be safely accommodated in the venue with social distancing in place.


Face coverings will no longer be needed in classrooms or for students in communal areas in secondary schools and colleges. Twice weekly home testing will remain to control infection rates.

All remaining university students will be eligible to return to in-person teaching and learning from May 17, and should get tested twice a week upon return.

30 people will be able to attend a support group or parent and child group. The limit will not apply to children under 5.


The Transport Secretary has confirmed that international travel can begin to safely reopen from May 17, allowing people to go on foreign holidays to ‘green’ list countries. Strict border control measures will remain in place, including pre-departure tests and a PCR test on or before day two of their arrival back in the UK.

Are you a business set to fully re-open on May 17? Send in your pictures and share your news to [email protected]