What are the latest Covid-19 restrictions across the nations of the UK?

All the nations have now delayed easing lockdown measures further due to concerns about the Delta variant, first found in India.

Social distancing signage
Social distancing signage

Scotland has become the latest UK nation to delay the easing of coronavirus measures.

Changes to current restriction levels are being postponed until mid-July amid a rise in Covid-19 cases, with the Scottish Government planning to lift all major curbs by early August.

Here is an overview of the current rules across the different parts of the UK:

– What has been announced in Scotland?

Coronavirus – Mon Jun 21, 2021
First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon (Jeff J Mitchell/PA)

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said it is hoped that the whole of Scotland can be placed into its lowest level of restrictions – Level 0 – on July 19.

This is three weeks later than the previous target date of June 28.

Ms Sturgeon said the delay was due to a rise in Covid-19 case numbers.

But she also announced that if vaccination milestones and other criteria are met, the majority of restrictions in Scotland could be lifted by August 9.

Level 0, the lowest level in Scotland’s five-tier system, is only currently in place in the island authorities of Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles, while
all mainland areas have Level 1 or Level 2 restrictions.

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 such as 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.

Last week, Ms Sturgeon announced a ban on all non-essential travel to Manchester and Salford due to rising coronavirus cases.

– What’s the latest in England?

England v Scotland – UEFA Euro 2020 – Group D – Wembley Stadium
Fans are being allowed to attend pilot sporting events (Aaron Chown/PA)

England will remain at Step 3 until July 19 after a four-week delay on the further easing of restrictions was applied this month.

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, continue to apply.

Working from home where possible is still advised and nightclubs are closed.

But some pilot events under the Government’s Events Research Programme, which is assessing the impact of crowds on Covid-19 infection rates, are being permitted to host thousands of attendees.

On Tuesday, the Government announced that more than 60,000 football fans will be allowed to attend the Euro 2020 semi-finals and final if they return a negative Covid-19 test or provide proof of double vaccination 14 days before a fixture.

Other events in the scheme have include Royal Ascot, Wimbledon, the Brit Awards and the World Snooker Championship.

On Monday in England the cap of 30 guests for wedding ceremonies and receptions was lifted, with the number of attendees now 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.

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 are now 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.

– What about Wales?

Coronavirus – Wed Apr 7, 2021
Scientific advisers believe a four-week delay in easing rules will provide enough time to determine whether vaccinations have broken the link between getting ill from Covid-19 and needing hospital treatment (Jacob King/PA)

Wales has delayed its further easing of coronavirus restrictions by four weeks.

The move was taken last week in response to a spike in cases of the Delta variant first identified in India to see if they lead to increased pressure on the NHS.

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.

Rules in Wales were last relaxed on June 7 and regulations will be reviewed again on July 15.

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

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

Other amendments were 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 is the situation in Northern Ireland?

Measures including a return of live music and removing the limits on numbers at outdoor gatherings have been pushed back amid concerns over the Delta variant.

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

Under 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 that 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.

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