Prime Minister Boris Johnson has given the go-ahead to further relaxations of the lockdown rules in England.
Revellers will be able to enjoy food and drink inside with the reopening of indoor hospitality on May 17, while friends and relatives will be given the choice on whether to socially distance from one another.
Here, the PA news agency looks at what is set to change under step three of the Government’s road map.
– What will be allowed indoors?
Gatherings inside homes are to be permitted once again, with a limit of up to six people or two households meeting indoors.
A return to indoor museums, cinemas, restaurants and pubs is also on the cards – and this time without any 10pm curfews.
Pub-goers will also be free to meet for a pint without being required to buy a substantial meal, but they must order, eat and drink while seated.
Business owners must follow Covid safety guidelines including making sure they do not cater for groups beyond the legal limits.
– How are social contact rules changing?
People will be given an individual choice on whether to socially distance from close friends and family from different households, meaning loved ones will be allowed to hug for the first time in over a year.
But the Government is urging people to remain “cautious” about the risks that come with close personal contact and told to keep in mind that some are more vulnerable to severe illness from the virus than others.
Wider social-distancing rules will remain in place in adult social care, medical, retail, hospitality and business settings.
– Which outdoor activities will be allowed?
As summer approaches, people in England will be able to meet outdoors in groups of up to 30 people.
The Government’s road map advises people to “decide on the appropriate level of risk for their circumstances” when arranging to meet.
– What about life events?
Up to 30 people will be able to join together to celebrate weddings, receptions, wakes and religious ceremonies like bar mitzvahs and christenings.
The Government will also lift the cap on the numbers attending funerals, in line with how many people can be safely accommodated in venues.
– Will performances and sporting events resume?
May 17 will herald a return to theatres and indoor sporting arenas, with a maximum capacity of 1,000 people.
Outdoor arenas will be able to host live events with a maximum number of 4,000 attendees, or for large outdoor seated venues where crowds can be spread out, up to 10,000.
– Are there any changes to education and work?
Yes. All university students in England can return to campus next week for in-person teaching, with those returning expected to get tested twice a week throughout the rest of the summer term.
Face coverings for pupils will no longer be recommended in classrooms or in communal areas in secondary schools and colleges.
Meanwhile, Government guidance continues to advise employees to work from home where they can.
– Is it safe to book foreign holidays?
The current ban on overseas holidays will lift on May 17 and Prime Minister has previously announced the green list countries Britons will be allowed to travel to without having to quarantine, providing they take one post-arrival test.
Portugal, Gibraltar, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Brunei, Iceland and the Faroe Islands – plus several small remote islands which are British Overseas Territories are currently on this list.
Within England, all remaining accommodation including hotels, hostels and B&Bs can re-open, with domestic overnight stays allowed in groups of up to 6 people or two households.