Lockdown changes: Everything you can and can't do in England and Wales from April 12

Both England and Wales take big steps towards easing lockdown restrictions on Monday.

Time for some styling at last
Time for some styling at last

Three months after they last opened, non-essential retailers both sides of the border can welcome customers into their stores again, while English beer gardens will reopen - so let's hope for some warm and dry weather!

The next easing of rules comes as part of both the UK and Welsh Governments' road maps out of lockdown, as the Covid vaccination programme continues to help drive down hospitalisation and death rates.

But with so many dates and rules to remember - with Wales' First Minister recently announcing an acceleration of lockdown easing west of the border - here's a rundown of what you can and can't do on both sides of the England/Wales border for now.

When do shops open?


Non-essential retailers will be open again from April 12 in both England and Wales.

When do pubs reopen?

Pints can be pulled in England from Monday, but will have to be drunk outside

Pubs in England can welcome customers again on Monday in their beer gardens, with people allowed to meet in groups of either six or two households.

The same also applies to cafes and restaurants.

Table service will be provided, substantial meals will no longer be required in order for customers to enjoy a drink (so no more scotch egg debates!), and curfews have also been scrapped.

Indoor mixing is still not allowed though.

It's a different story in Wales, where outdoor hospitality is not due to restart until Monday, April 26.

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has also tried to dissuade residents from nipping over the border for a drink.

Mr Drakeford has also said he does not intend to impose a curfew either when Welsh pubs reopen.

Hairdressers and nail salons

After two weeks of watching residents in Wales get their locks cut, those in England will also be able to start enjoying trips to the hairdresser from Monday.

Nail salons will also reopen both sides of the border, as will beauticians, tattooists, sports and massage therapists, dress fitters, tailors and fashion designers.

Mobile services can also resume.

Can I travel?

Self-contained holidays are allowed in England and Wales from Monday

Yes, rules on travel are also relaxing.

In England self-contained accommodation such as campsites, holiday lets and other locations where indoor facilities are not shared with other households, are allowed to open again. You can only go on holiday on your own or with your household though.

Similar venues in Wales have been open since March 27 when the nation's 'stay local' order was retired, but only to Welsh residents.

The good news is travel in and out of Wales from the rest of the United Kingdom and Common Travel area (the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, and the Republic of Ireland) for non-essential reasons will again be allowed from April 12, meaning residents in England and Wales can cross the border for a self-contained holiday.

However, foreign travel - from both England and Wales - is still only permitted with a reasonable excuse, such as for work or on compassionate grounds, although Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said people can "start to think" about booking overseas holidays for later in the year.

When can I meet someone indoors?

Not just yet.

In England indoor meeting won't be allowed until May 17 earliest, so for now all reunions with friends and family you don't live with must be done outside in groups of six or two households of unlimited size.

People in Wales are set to be allowed to meet up with loved ones indoors from Monday, May 3 when an extended household rule will allow two households to meet and have contact.

However, from April 26 organised outdoor activities involving groups of up to 30 people will be allowed in Wales.

Outdoor attractions

Like pubs, venues such as zoos, theme parks, and drive-in cinemas can reopen on Monday, but those in Wales have to wait until April 26.

Playing sport and exercising

Gyms will be open in England, but not Wales

Outdoor sport is already up and running in both countries.

Gyms, spas and other indoor leisure facilities in England - but not including saunas and steam rooms - can reopen from Monday, but you must visit alone or with your household.

The Welsh Government has said gyms, leisures centres and fitness facilities will reopen on May 3, a week earlier than originally planned, and for individual or one-to-one training but not exercise classes.


All children in England returned to the classroom before Easter, but in Wales April 12 will be the day every pupil returns.

Welsh further education and training centres will also reopen, while universities will be open for face-to-face and online learning.


Wedding rules will allow more people to attend receptions in England from Monday, but not Wales

Weddings and receptions can have 15 people again in England.

In Wales wedding ceremony limits are set by venues, but receptions are still banned. Outdoor wedding receptions with up to 30 people are due to restart on May 3.

The same rules apply to life events in Wales too, such as baptisms.

Viewings at wedding venues in Wales can resume by appointment as well from Monday.


Funerals in England can continue with up to 30 mourners, while 15 people can attend the wake.

The rules for weddings in Wales also apply to funerals; venues set limits on ceremony numbers, and no wakes are currently allowed.

Driving lessons

These can resume in both England and Wales from Monday.

Other venues

Public buildings including community centres and libraries will also reopen in England from Monday.

Indoor parent and child groups with up to 15 adults (children under five do not count) can restart in England, and all children can attend any indoor activity.

Care home visitors in England will increase to two per resident as well.

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