Lockdown rules: What you can do from May 17 in England and Wales

Lockdown changes come into force again on Monday in both England and Wales, when more restrictions are eased. Here's a rundown of what's allowed with regards, pubs, holidays and hugs.

Hugging between households is allowed again from Monday, in England at least
Hugging between households is allowed again from Monday, in England at least

The route out of lockdown reaches a landmark moment on Monday when Covid restrictions are eased further in both England and Wales.

Pubs, which reopened last month for outdoor customers only, can allow people to wine and dine inside again, while people can also go and stay with family and friends for the first time in months.

There are many changes coming in, and there are still some restrictions in place, so here is the latest on what is allowed from May 17.


Socialising indoors in England will be allowed in other people’s homes in groups of six or a maximum of two households.

Overnight stays at someone else’s home will also be allowed, although with the same restrictions of no more than a group of six.

Physical contact between family and friends from other households is to be allowed again in England, but with the emphasis on personal responsibility to ensure particularly vulnerable people are protected.

People can meet outdoors in groups of up to 30.

Wales' First Minister Mark Drakeford has said the rules on hugging remain unchanged, and a cwtch is out of the question if that person is not part of your extended household.

In England people of all ages count towards the number of people who meet up, but in Wales those under 11 do not.

Pubs and restaurants

You can sit inside at a pub or restaurant from Monday

Indoor hospitality will restart, with cafes, pubs and restaurants allowed to serve food and drinks to customers indoors for the first time since December. People will have to remain seated and use table service only when ordering, but there will be no curfew or any restrictions on serving alcohol as there was at times under the previous tier system.

Indoor entertainment, such as cinemas and museums will reopen, as will children’s play areas indoors.

These rules apply in both England and Wales, meaning six people from up to six households can book an indoor table. The only difference is those under 11 years old do not count towards the six in Wales.

Sport, exercise and large gatherings

Indoor sports classes and group competitions can restart in England.

Some larger indoors events, such as conferences, concerts and sports events, can go ahead with maximum crowds of 1,000 people or 50 per cent of capacity, whichever is lower.

When it comes to outdoors gatherings, the remaining outdoor entertainment venues which have not yet reopened – including open-air cinemas and theatres – will be allowed to restart, as will outdoor events with up to 4,000 people or 50 per cent of capacity.

A smaller number of bigger stadium events, including premier league football, will be allowed to have up to 10,000 guests or 25 per cent of seated capacity.


Only 12 countries are on the 'green list', meaning holidaymakers can visit them and not quarantine when they return

Accommodation, including hotels, hostels and B&Bs can take guests again in both England and Wales.

In England holiday accommodation can be used by groups of up to six people or two households.

Overseas holidays will be permitted for some countries with low levels of Covid. From Monday, if you return to England from a country on the 'green list' after a holiday you will not need to quarantine on arrival either at home or in a hotel. But you will have to prove you have had a negative test result.

While you can travel to 'green list' countries from Wales without needing to isolate when you get back, First Minister Mark Drakeford is urging people not to go away on holiday and only head overseas if they really need to.

Weddings, funerals and life events

Wedding restrictions ease again on May 17 in both England and Wales

Weddings in England will be allowed to have up to 30 people attending, following social distancing rules.

In Wales, wedding receptions and wakes count as organised indoor activities and organised outdoor activities allowed to have up to 30 and 50 people respectively.

Funerals in England can have as many people attending as the venue can safely seat with social distancing rules. Other events such as bar mitzvahs and christenings can also go ahead.

Care homes

From May 17 care home residents can have up to five named visitors (two at any one time), providing they test negative for Covid.

In Wales, the rule remains that residents can have up to two named visitors.

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