First lockdown restrictions lifted today - what can you do now?

Nowton park in Bury St Edmunds saw a flurry of people through the weekend as the daffodils start to

Nowton park in Bury St Edmunds saw a flurry of people through the weekend as the daffodils start to bloom - Credit: Charlotte Bond

The first step to a return to normal life begins today as school children head back to the classrooms and the limits on outdoor social contact are eased. 

From today, people in England will see restrictions start to lift as the Government begins its four-step roadmap out of the current lockdown restrictions which have been in place since January 4. 

The Government's priority has been ensuring that all children and students return safely to face-to-face learning.

So what can you now do under the new rules?

  • Children will return to schools
  • People will be allowed to leave home for recreation and exercise outdoors with one person from outside their household
  • Care home residents can have one named visitor inside


All schools and colleges are reopening today to welcome students back after more than two months of home-schooling. 

Childcare and children’s supervised activities can also resume to enable parents to work or engage in similar activities.

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Twice-weekly rapid testing is being introduced for secondary and college pupils - in addition to regular testing for all teachers - to reduce the chance of the virus spreading in schools.

Suffolk education leaders have said that schools across the county are well prepared for the return of pupils, with school leaders positive about classes resuming in-person.

Higher Education students at English universities on practical courses can also return.

Meeting one person outside

The "stay at home" requirement will still be in place as rules begin to be lifted.

However, for the first time in months, people will be able to go to parks for recreation, as oppose to only for exercise.

There, they can meet one person from another household.

This should allow two people to meet in a park for a coffee.

Care home residents to be allowed one visitor inside

The one named regular visitor will be required to take a coronavirus lateral flow test before entering and must be in full personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times. 

They will be asked not to hug or kiss their relatives; however, hand holding will be allowed.

Outdoor visits will continue, as well as those inside pods or behind screens, which is being carried out at Brierfield Residential Home in Felixstowe.