Non-essential shops, outside hospitality, barbers, gyms and pub beer gardens reopen to the public today as lockdown restrictions in England ease for the third time since the pandemic began.
As you walk through Manchester city centre this morning, it’s evident to see that life is slowly returning to normal.
Thousands of people have been lining the streets from the early hours, waiting for shops to open, including Manchester Arndale, which didn’t have an entrance without hundreds stood outside it at 8am.
It’s not just shops, pubs and beauty businesses that can reopen today though, as the leisure industry has also been given the green light to begin operating again, and this is exactly what is happening at zoos, theme parks and drive-in cinemas across the country.
It’s Step Two of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown, which somehow, we’ve managed to stick to since Boris Johnson announced it some weeks ago.
During Step Two there are still restrictions on social contact, with indoor venues only allowing access to those with members of one household, while the rule of six still applies outdoors.
However, for those who have been stuck inside for most of the year, it’s a welcome return to SOME sort of normality – and as the sun shines down on most of the country today, the cold weather doesn’t seem to be stopping those people from taking advantage of it.
We’ve outlined everything you need to know about Step Two and all the lockdown restrictions that have been lifted here, if you’d like to refresh your memory before venturing out.
For the latest information, guidance and support during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the UK, please do refer to official sources at gov.uk/coronavirus.