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The 9 things you still can’t do despite lockdown coming to an end

PUBLISHED: 12:05 19 July 2020 | UPDATED: 13:18 19 July 2020

Soft play outlets are still closed. Karen Hyland, owner of Tumbledown in Stonham Barns, has hit out at government guidelines. Picture: TUMBLEDOWN

Soft play outlets are still closed. Karen Hyland, owner of Tumbledown in Stonham Barns, has hit out at government guidelines. Picture: TUMBLEDOWN

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Lockdown has all but ended with pubs, shops, hairdressers, playgrounds and even arcades across Suffolk now reopening to the public - provided they are Covid-secure.

Get-togethers with larger groups of friends are still not allowed and social distancing is essential. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTOGet-togethers with larger groups of friends are still not allowed and social distancing is essential. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO

But there are still some restrictions in place.

Here are nine things the Government is still telling people in Suffolk and across the UK not to do, as the battle to keep coronavirus under control continues.

You currently can’t:

• Visit indoor play and soft play areas

All indoor play areas currently remain closed. This includes those which are part of a restaurant or other business - so, if your children usually enjoy a soft play area at a cafe while you watch, this won’t be possible.

Karen Hyland, owner of Tumbledown soft play at Stonham Barns, has made a plea for government support to reopen, saying the blanket rules enforce the closure of smaller, more adaptable businesses.

The government roadmap does not yet set out a date for when soft play areas will be allowed to reopen.

• Go to nightclubs, dance halls and discos

These venues still don’t have a date when they will be allowed to open at present, even though pubs have been permitted to reopen with social distancing measures in place.

• Hold a party in your house

Although you can now visit family and friends, only members of two households (or support bubbles, which count as a single household) are permitted to socialise together indoors. You must also socially distance from the other household.

If you are meeting in the garden, you still must not legally socialise in groups of more than six from multiple households. Groups of more than six are only allowed if everyone is from two households, and again must socially distance. It is also still against the law to hold any gathering of more than 30 people in a private home, including gardens.

Businesses which are Covid-19 secure can hold larger gatherings, and there are various rules allowing larger groups to meet for essential purposes.

• Have a meal out with a larger group of friends

The rules about only members of two households socialising indoors and groups of up to six outside, with social distancing, also apply when visiting a pub or dining out.

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Official rules say you shouldn’t interact socially with anyone outside the group you are attending a place with, even if you see other people you know, for example, in a restaurant, community centre or place of worship.

MORE: Demand on police to rise during summer coronavirus ‘recovery’ phase

• Go on holiday with a group of friends

Although hotels, campsites and holiday lets are now open, the government says you should only stay overnight in groups of up to two households. You should also ensure you maintain social distancing with anyone you do not live with, take care to maintain excellent hygiene - washing hands and surfaces - and avoid using shared facilities like bathrooms wherever possible.

• Hug and kiss family and friends

Even when you meet up with friends and family members not in your household, the rules on social distancing apply (except for support bubbles) - so hugging and kissing are out.

• Sing in your church or place of worship

Places of worship have been allowed to reopen, but the government has issued detailed guidance about how to minimise infection risk. This includes social distancing, and says there should be no group singing indoors. One singer only can perform and the use of plexi-glass screens should be considered to protect worshippers.

Outside, small groups of professional singers can perform in front of worshippers.

• Get lifts from friends - avoid if possible

Car-sharing is not actually banned, but the Government advises that people should try not to share a vehicle with those outside their household.

If you do need to do this, advice includes sharing transport with the same people each time, opening windows for ventilation and asking driver and passengers to wear face coverings.

You are also advised to sit side-by-side or behind other people if possible and face away from each other.

• Hold a wedding or funeral with more than 30 guests

Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies can now be held again, after being suspended for a time during lockdown, but the government says: “You should only invite close friends and family, up to a maximum of 30 people where this can be safely accommodated with social distancing in place.”

The limit for funerals is also a maximum of 30 and again advice is to invite only close friends and family.

From August 1 onwards, small wedding receptions can take place, but again numbers will be capped at 30 and Covid-19 secure guidelines must be followed.

The full rules on what you can and can’t do as the reopening programme continues are quite complex and detailed, so, if in doubt, take a look at the Government FAQ.


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