Next step of covid restriction easing is confirmed for May 17

PM Boris Johnson confirmed the latest easing of restrictions today

Further easing of covid restrictions will go ahead on May 17, the Prime Minister has confirmed.

The PM says data shows the government’s “four tests” for easing restrictions have been met. Infection rates are at their lowest level since September, while hospital admissions and patients in hospital continue to decrease – with levels now similar to July last year.

Hospital admissions and cases of severe illness also remain in line with modelling provided by scientific experts for the Roadmap.

  • The assessment to move to Step 3 of reopening the country was based on four tests:
  • The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully
  • Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
  • Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS

Assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern

From Monday (May 17) indoor hospitality can reopen and indoor entertainment can resume, including cinemas, museums, and children’s play areas.

Up to 6 people or two households will be able to meet indoors and up to 30 people outdoors.

All remaining outdoor entertainment can reopen, such as outdoor cinemas and performances. Some larger events will be able to take place, including conferences, theatre and concert performances, and sports events. Restrictions on the number of attendees will remain as set out in the Roadmap.

Guidance on meeting family and friends will be updated. The public can make informed, personal decisions on close contact, such as hugging, with their friends and family. Close contact continues to carry a risk of catching or spreading COVID-19, and people must consider the risk to themselves and to others. COVID-secure rules remain for the workplace and businesses, such as in shops and hospitality.

The Transport Secretary has confirmed that international travel can begin to reopen from 17 May, allowing people to go on foreign holidays to ‘green’ list countries. Strict border control measures will remain in place, including pre-departure tests and a PCR test on or before day two of their arrival back in the UK.

Face coverings will no longer be needed in classrooms or for students in communal areas in secondary schools and colleges. Twice weekly home testing will remain to control infection rates.

All remaining university students will be eligible to return to in-person teaching and learning from May 17, and should get tested twice a week upon return.

Up to 30 people will now be able to attend weddings, receptions, and commemorative events including wakes, as well as standalone life-cycle events. These can take place outdoors or at any indoor Covid secure venue that is permitted to open. The number of people able to attend a funeral will be determined by the number that can be safely accommodated in the venue with social distancing in place.

Thirty people will be able to attend a support group or parent and child group. The limit will not apply to children under 5.

Organised adult sport and exercise classes can resume indoors and saunas and steam rooms may reopen.

Care homes residents will be able to have up to five named visitors, with two visitors able to attend at once provided they are tested and follow infection control measures. Residents will also have greater freedoms to leave their home without having to isolate on their return.

The vaccination rollout continues, with over 35 million people receiving at least one dose, and nearly 18 million receiving both doses. One quarter of all adults have now received the strongest protection available.

The latest data shows that the estimated reduction in symptomatic disease is 60% and hospitalisations 80% for one dose of the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine for people aged 80 and over. Data published by PHE today estimates that for the over 80s, two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine reduces the risk of hospitalisation by 93%.

Step 4 is due to take place no earlier than 21 June. Further detail on Step 4 will be set out at the end of the month.


  1. In spite of all the criticism of the handling of the pandemic, we are in a much better place than many other countries ,well done BORIS.

    • Absolutely! People my age (late 50s) in places like Germany haven’t even had their first jab, yet I’ve had two Pfizers!

        • We would not be in a pickle at all if Boris had acted swiftly and effectively.
          There’s not a shadow of doubt that tens of thousands of deaths could have been avoided had the government in general and Boris in particular taken action. For a time this spring we had one of the worst death rates in the world.
          But, the government ignored the findings of its own “Cygnus” project;
          igored a request from the NHS for a stockpile of PPE;
          Boris failed to turn up for the first 5 COBRA meetings;
          Boris failed to impose “lockdown” soon enough;
          Dominic Raab urged citizens to fly home from Italy and China;
          Boris eased “lockdown” too soon;
          The government encouraged people to “eat out to help out”, thus creating ideal opportunities for disease spreading;
          The government sent young people back to school and uni too soon;
          Boris ignored the advice of SAGE and refused to have an autumn “circuit breaker”;
          Instead he encouraged us all to enjoy a traditional Christmas with our extended families;
          At the last minute he scaled this back, but too late because folk had made their plans;
          The government told us in January that it was safe for children to go back to school. The very next day schools were closed.
          Coronavirus mutations were detected in India (amongst other places) but Boris did not stop flights.
          £37 billion was spent on a Track and Trace system which, far from “world beating”, is useless.
          The vaccine rollout is brilliant. This is being done by the NHS (for whom the government offered a derisory pay rise) using vaccines paid for by us.
          “Well done BORIS”?
          I don’t think so.

          • Never forget Johnson is a proven liar, and all the blustering is part of an act why he tries to think on his feet! He is a what we used to call a “wide boy” someone making it up as he goes along, a con man! He was also a useless London mayor!

    • The Indian variant is now labelled as one of concern by the WHO.
      It was known about months ago.
      What did Boris do? Stop flights in from the sub-continent?
      He planned to visit the virus-riddled place!
      Eventually, his mind was changed, and he cancelled.
      But people were still allowed to fly in from their “essential visits” (eg family weddings”. It was only a week or so later that India was put on the red list.
      There are now 700 known cases of the India variant in England. Deaths will follow.
      Nice one, Boris.

  2. The official lists of adverse reactions and deaths from the experimental gene therapy jab are not looking good, and they are deemed to be about 1 to 10 per cent of the real figures not reported via the yellow card system. These are represented in official figures via the MHRA (UK), EMA (Europe) and CDC (USA) plus similar worldwide. Legal cases are also active in the UK, Canada and Germany (and other countries) regarding these and the lockdowns and the misuse of statistics etc. Nuremburg Trial 2 is in preparation with a class action lawsuit supported by thousands of lawyers and medical professionals worldwide. You won’t find anything in the mainstream media as there is complete censorship globally, and Ofcom pressure, plus enormous government advertising spend and contributions from the Gates Foundation brings their compliance. Broadcasters such as UK Column do excellent and rigorous coverage in comparison. As do numerous doctors and science globally warning of the dangers, if you conduct proper research and stay away from shameless propaganda spin. This will all come out one day and accountability will be very interesting.

    • Fortunately, we don’t need to rely on MSM for our news.
      We can turn to the pages of IoTN and facebook.
      And here we read 1000s of comments from people about where to get jabs, how to get jabs, what sort of jabs, and, most importantly, the consequences of having a jab.
      Plenty of postings about sore arms, sore throats, temporary headaches etc.
      Plenty of postings expressing feelings of joy, even euphoria, at having had a vaccination.
      None threatening to sue the government, the NHS, Oxford University, Pfizer or anyone else.
      Generally, expressions of relief that there is a glimmer of light.

  3. “The official lists of adverse reactions and deaths from the experimental gene therapy jab are not looking good”
    “You won’t find anything in the mainstream media as there is complete censorship globally,”
    Do I need to comment further?

    • Strangely enough, I have absolutely no intention of clicking on this link.
      But let me guess: it will be a youtube clip, featuring an “academic ” of some sort. To a background sound track of drippy music, he will explain how his “research” has been rejected by academia, so he’s putting his expose on YouTube, and we’d better look at it quickly before it’s taken down by the authorities.

      On the other hand, there’s peer reviewed properly published science.

      I know which I’ll take notice of.

  4. Its been reported that hundreds died unnecessarily because Johnson held up the Lockdown due to some race horse meetings!

  5. For goodness sake stop your endless moaning if you have had your jabs be thankful OK so the PM did make mistakes at the start so did every other nation on earth some got it right some did not think yourself lucky you are not in Europe then you’d have something to moan about but moaners will always find something to moan about won’t you?

    • Absolutely Lesley! My French and German friends are currently having a much rougher time than we’re having (and while I’m not getting into a Brexit debate, both of these friends are now of the opinion that the UK made a wise decision).

      • In the earlier spring, and as a direct consequence of Boris’ refusal to lockdown sooner, we had an infection rate worse than India, Europe and the USA.
        Yes, we have got the vaccine right; paid for from our taxes and delivered by what’s left of the NHS – the people for whom we clapped every Thursday night, but denied a payrise by Boris.

    • we are an island only connected to Europe by a silly rail tunnel which is owned mostly by the FFFFrench who now want the UK to pour billions in to saving it thankfully Boris has said no we are no longer Europes’ cash cow and if people are happy with us being in that situation then you are bigger fools than I took you for.

  6. Of course we are part of Europe. We have been for thousands of years. We have left, possibly temporarily, a political union, that’s all.

  7. Being the good little European that you are Marva did you celebrate European day on May 9th?Iam not bothering with you any more on this now leave me be you old mutton joint

    • well I do not see why some one that does not know me should want to continually goad me please enlighten me and show yourself to be the vicious pathetic troll that you are after this no more Marva or I will run to teacher and ask her to ban you just like you did once with The Box. ta ta troll

      • If you make a statement, and it’s wrong, you are likely to be challenged about it. If you keep on defending your defenceless position, you may well be continued to be challenged.
        Resorting to personal insults, calling people a “vicious pathetic troll” does not actually lend weight to your argument.
        Nor does your plagiaising of Mr Box’s quirk of misspelling Ms Rees’ name.
        BTW, the UK is part of the Europen Continent.

      • “The Box ” was libelling me and somebody else. Ms Peeling is just refusing to accept a geographical fact. Making a correction is not “goading”.

        • you are very rude I do not need correcting by a bloody Welsh witch now for the last time leave me alone O K tomorrow I get in touch with Kathy now push off and go and play with the jet skis

        • You do it every time Marva come on you did not answer when I asked you what have I done to you that makes you want to contradict and correct me every time so come on enlighten me you nasty woman

          • The reason I comment on Ms Peeling’s comments is because she keeps repeating things which are mistaken.

        • and that warrants you harassing me does it? if you and that other troll Phyllis continue to harass me I will take matters further as social harassment can be deemed a crime, my opinion is my opinion right or wrong it is my opinion and if you have a problem with that it is your problem not mine we will never agree on anything so I am going to be the bigger and better person on this and shut the pair of you down I do not want to hear from either of you again

  8. It’s a shame that we’ve come such a long way from the OP: that in spite of Boris’ blundering, the NHS is doing great stuff.
    It is a great shame that they couldn’t spend some of the £37 billion Track and Trace money on a reasonable payrise for the staff.
    The £350 million a week we’ve saved by leaving Europe must help a bit, surely?
    Or perhaps Boris spent it on wallpaper for his flat.

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