April 12th marks the beginning of step two in Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown.

COVID-19 restrictions will ease throughout England today, with new rules set in place regarding shops re-opening and meeting others outdoors.

Non-essential shops are now free to open with many retailers all over the country eager to welcome back their customers.

Personal care premises, such as hairdressers and nail salons, will also be open. Although many hairdressers are reporting that they’re already fully booked.

Barbershop reopen for business
Barbershops will be back open for business – Photo by Alexander Lemann on Unsplash

Getting a haircut will be the first stop for many before heading to beer gardens.

That’s right, hospitality venues will also be able to serve customers outdoors, and there will be no need to order a substantial meal this time.

Customers must order, eat and drink while seated and may take as much time as they like. There will be no curfew on outdoor venues this time around.

Outdoor facilities such as zoos, theme parks and drive-in cinemas will re-open as well as indoor leisure facilities will too. Gyms will be open to use alone or with members of their household.

Public buildings such as libraries and community centres will also be re-opening. Borrowing a book from a library will be allowed, and they will be placed under quarantine when returned before being borrowed again.

The Government have lifted the ‘stay home rule’, although the public are still being asked to work from home where possible to prevent another spike in COVID-19 cases.

After months of lockdown, many of us will be seeing the high street for the first time this year. These next steps are vital in keeping COVID-19 cases to a minimum while the vaccine is still being distributed.

What’s Next?

As long as the coronavirus risk level does not rise, step 3 of the roadmap is due to begin on May 17th.

These rules will look at easing social distancing measures even further, with most legal restrictions on meeting others outdoors being lifted.

By this point most businesses will also be allowed to open, except in high risk areas.

The 4th and final step of lifting all lockdown measures is still in the calendar for June 21st.