May 17: What can't open when Covid-19 lockdown rules ease?

Romford's Funktion will not be returning after the pandemic.

Nightclubs are among the venues which have to wait a bit longer before reopening, although sadly Romford's Funktion will not be returning. - Credit: Funktion

Indoor hospitality at pubs and restaurants will be allowed again when the country moves to step three of the government's roadmap out of lockdown, which is scheduled for May 17.

Cinemas and theatres will also be allowed to open their doors for audiences, alongside hotels and holiday accommodation set to welcome back guests.

But which businesses can't open when the rest of the country moves a step closer to normality?

And what Covid-19 lockdown rules will still be in place after May 17?

Step three lockdown easing at a glance


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Here's a list of the step three changes, which will be no earlier than May 17.

  • Indoor entertainment and indoor attractions can open.
  • A 30-person limit outdoors and rule of six or two households indoors (subject to review).
  • Domestic overnight stays allowed.
  • Organised indoor adult sport back.
  • At most significant life events, 30 people can attend.
  • A cap on the number of funeral mourners lifted.
  • Remaining outdoor entertainment (including performances) allowed.
  • All remaining accommodation can open.
  • Some large events can go ahead, but with capacity limits.
    • Indoor events: 1,000 or 50 per cent.
    • Outdoor seated events: 10,000 or 25pc.
    • Outdoor other events: 4,000 or 50pc.
  • International travel – but subject to review.

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What venues can't open after May 17?

In step three, all but the most high-risk sectors will be able to reopen.

While indoor entertainment and visitor attractions can welcome back customers, some businesses will have to remain closed until June 21 at the earliest.

These include nightclubs, which have been closed for more than a year, and adult entertainment venues such as lap dance clubs.

What happens at step four?

In Step 4, the government hopes to reopen the remaining settings, such as nightclubs. This will happen at least five weeks after step three begins.

Faces Essex in Gants Hill is serving brunch from May 22. The venue then expects to welcome back clubbers on June 21 with The Reunion, followed by Scandalous: The Return on June 25. Ticket prices vary.

In Hornchurch, a refurbished Luna is set to reopen fully on June 25 from 8pm to 3am, with £10 tickets available on the door.

And in Shoreditch, XOYO's reopening weekend kicks off with resident DJ Joshua James and Skream, also on June 25.

Plans are in place to lift restrictions on social contact and large events that apply in step three, such as restrictions on numbers, including for theatre performances.

This is subject to the outcome of the Events Research Programme pilots, and a review of social distancing measures.

The government will also look to relax Covid-secure requirements on businesses, subject to the outcome of the reviews.

Covid-19 lockdown rules from May 17

Following the move to step three, further venues will be permitted to open in England.

Unless a specific exemption exists, these must only be attended or used in line with the wider social contact limits at this stage – in a group of six people (the rule of six) or two households indoors. This is subject to review though.

The government is poised to lift most legal restrictions on meeting others outdoors, but gatherings of more than 30 people outdoors will remain illegal for now.

Indoor areas of hospitality venues will be allowed to reopen but table service will be required for venues that serve alcohol, even if no alcohol is ordered.

This means customers must order, be served and eat or drink while seated.

If a venue does not serve alcohol, customers can order and collect food and drink from a counter, but they must consume food and drink while seated at a table.

Venues will be prohibited from providing smoking equipment such as shisha pipes for use on the premises.

While live music venues, theatres and cinemas are set to reopen from May 17, there are capacity limits on numbers and audiences will be socially distanced until step four.

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