Government announcement 22 February 2021
England still remains under national restrictions. You must continue to stay at home, work from home where possible and follow the government guidance.
You must not leave home, unless for one of the following exceptions:
- shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
- go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
- exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
- meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
- seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
- attend education or childcare - for those eligible
- Nurseries remain open, and childcare bubbles can remain in place. Clinically extremely vulnerable people must shield until 31 March.
From 8 March 2021, the government’s first phase of step one lockdown easing will begin
Step 1 poster
This will mean:
- All schools and colleges across England will re-open along with practical higher education courses, other higher education courses will remain online. Secondary school and college students will be required to wear masks in class and communal areas
- Outdoor after-school sports and activities will be able to take place
- Recreational activities in public spaces, such as a park, will also be allowed. This can be between two people from different households, or between one household and one other person, meaning they can sit down for a drink or picnic outdoors
- You can continue to exercise with one other person outdoors.
- All care home residents in England will be able to have one regular visitor with whom they can hold hands with
- Funerals can be attended by up to 14 people at Pontefract Crematorium, or 16 at Wakefield Crematorium. This is the maximum number that can fit in the chapel and maintain proper social distancing
- Up to 30 people can attend a burial outdoors, as long as social distancing is maintained
- Six people can attend a wake and weddings with up to six attendees can take place in exceptional circumstances only
From 29 March 2021, the second phase of step one of lockdown easing will begin
This will mean:
- The rule of six (groups of six or less) or two households can meet outdoors. Households must not mix indoors.
- Outdoor sport and leisure facilities will open
- Organised outdoor sport will be allowed (for children and adults)
- Travel should be minimised. Holidays will not be permitted.
- Outdoor parent and child groups can take place (up to 15 parents)
You can find out more about the government’s roadmap and the planned steps
Step 2 - No earlier than 12 April
Step 2 poster
These places can open:
- All retail
- Personal care settings like hairdressers and beauty salons
- Public buildings like libraries, community centres and museums.
- Outdoor hospitality like alcohol takeaways, and beer gardens
- Outdoor attractions like zoos, theme parks and drive-in cinemas.
- Indoor leisure like swimming pools and gyms.
- Self-contained holiday accommodation like self-catering lets and camp sites for household stays only.
- Wakes, weddings and receptions of up to 15 people will be permitted.
Step 3 No earlier than 17 May
Step 3 poster
- Two households can mix indoors.
- You can stay overnight in somebody's home.
- 30 people can mix outdoors.
- The rule of six will be applied in hospitality settings like pubs.
- Cinemas, hotels, performances and sporting events will reopen - with social distancing required.
- Indoor events of up to 1,000 or 50% can take place.
- Indoor events of up to 4,000 or 50% can take place.
- Up to 10,000 spectators will be able to attend the very largest outdoor seated venues like football stadiums.
- Most significant life events like weddings, funerals, receptions, wakes and christenings will be allowed with up to 30 people.
Step 4 No earlier than 21 June
Step 4 poster
- There will be no remaining legal limits on social contact
- Nightclubs will reopen
- There will no legal limit on attendance at large events and life events
The roadmap is explained in more detail in this video
We are working to ensure as many services as possible can remain open, in-line with the national restrictions, and will be continuing to support residents, businesses and communities.
Information on all changes to services or closures can be found
For frequently asked questions click
To find out more about the national restrictions, visit
For information on what financial support is available for businesses, click
There are two different types of COVID-19 testing available and it is important that you access the right one:
- Tests for people with symptoms (symptomatic testing or PCR); and
- Regular testing for people going out to work who don't have symptoms (symptom-free testing or LFT)