How are coronavirus restrictions looking across the UK?

Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford is expected to announce on Friday that there will be a four-week delay to the easing of restrictions.

Coronavirus sign
Coronavirus sign

The easing of coronavirus restrictions is being delayed in another part of the UK.

Measures in Wales will not be lifted for another few weeks amid a rise in cases of the Delta variant, first identified in India.

Here is a look at the state of play across the four nations.

– What is happening in Wales?

Wales is delaying further easing of coronavirus restrictions for four weeks after seeing a spike in cases of the Delta variant of the disease, first identified in India.

First Minister Mark Drakeford is expected to announce on Friday that there will be a four-week delay to the easing of restrictions.

Currently groups of up to 30 people can meet outdoors, including in private gardens, while up to three households can form extended households to meet indoors.

Larger organised events, such as concerts, football matches and sporting activities, can resume for up to 4,000 people standing and 10,000 people seated.

Live performances were already allowed in hospitality venues, but they are still subject to public health restrictions.

Regulations will be reviewed again on July 15.

Some technical amendments are being made to the regulations in the meantime to make them easier for people to understand.

These include that the number of people who can attend a wedding or civil partnership reception or wake, organised by a business in indoors regulated premises, such as a hotel, will be determined by the size of the venue and a risk assessment.

Other amendments are that small grassroots music and comedy venues will also be able to operate on the same basis as hospitality venues, and primary schoolchildren in the same school contact group or bubble will be able to stay overnight in a residential outdoor education centre.

– What about England?

England will remain at Step 3 for a further four weeks until July 19.

This means a continuation of existing restrictions such as the rule of six, or two households, for gatherings indoors as well as limits on numbers for sports events, pubs and cinemas.

Working from home where possible continues to be advised and nightclubs will stay closed.

Coronavirus vaccines
(PA Graphics)

From June 21 in England the cap of 30 guests for wedding ceremonies and receptions will be lifted, with the number of attendees to be determined by how many people a venue can safely accommodate with social distancing measures in place.

Venue staff, bands, photographers and anyone else involved in the wedding must be included in the headcount, as well as guests of all ages.

However, food and drink must be ordered, served and consumed by guests seated at a table, and dancing indoors is still not permitted, except for the couple’s first dance.

Residents in care homes in England will be able to leave their home for more visits without needing to self-isolate for 14 days on their return.

This includes overnight stays with family and friends from Monday.

– What is the situation in Northern Ireland?

Measures including a return of live music and removing the limits on numbers at outdoor gatherings were planned to be introduced on Monday but they have been pushed back amid concerns over the Delta variant.

A review of the situation will take place on July 1.

Under the revised plans, from July 5, indoor gatherings in homes will be permitted for a maximum of 10 people from no more than two households.

If a single household has 10 members, the maximum is increased to 15 people from no more than two households. The figure does not include children under 12.

Overnight residential stays for youth services and uniformed organisations will also return from this date.

Live music will be allowed in licensed and unlicensed premises which sell food and drink, but only at “background or ambient levels”, with no dancing.

Larger indoor venues will not have to abide by noise limitations.

At outdoor events, live music and dancing will be allowed, without restriction to background or ambient levels.

Entry to performances for audiences will be by ticket only.

Tickets must be purchased in advance of the performance. Audiences for indoor events must have allocated seating and must remain seated, unless using facilities.

Social distancing at a minimum of one metre will be required for live music related activity in indoor seated venues and will be advised for all outdoor events.

Concert halls and seated theatres will also reopen on July 5, with tickets to be purchased in advance, allocated seating and social distancing of one metre required.

– How are things looking in Scotland?

The next full review of the level of restrictions is due to take place next week, but First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has already said the move to the lowest level is “likely” to be pushed back by three weeks.

She said it was “unlikely” any area would see restrictions eased on June 28 – the date it had been hoped all of Scotland would move into Level 0 restrictions.

This level, the lowest in Scotland’s five-tier system, is only currently in place in the island authorities of Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles, with all mainland areas having either Level 1 or Level 2 restrictions applied.

In Level 0, up to eight people from four households can meet indoors, while up to 10 people from four households can meet in an indoor public place like a cafe or restaurant.

Under Level 2, people can meet in homes in groups of no more than six, from a maximum of three households while in Level 1 the same applies, but eight people from three households can also meet inside public spaces while, outdoors, the limit is 12 people from 12 households.

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