Increase ventilation indoors and maintain social distancing
There are numerous changes to the COVID restrictions taking place from today, Monday 17 May. This is the penultimate step on the Government's roadmap out of lockdown and shows that infection rates and deaths are in decline.
Since the previous step, which saw the reopening of pubs (outdoors), GMP has seen a drastic reduction in the number of fixed penalty notices distributed. We are really thankful to everyone in Greater Manchester who has observed the regulations along each step, and who can now enjoy the benefit of socialising with others in a safe way.
Due to this compliance the infection rates and Covid-related deaths have declined, and step 3 on the roadmap is able to take place on the original specified date. However, please be aware of the new Indian variant that is spreading rapidly in some areas. Even with the new changes you are still required to socially distance yourself from others outside of your household or bubble and to regularly wash your hands.
Most legal restrictions on meeting others outdoors will be lifted, however gatherings of 30 or more people are still illegal. One of the other more significant changes is being able to meet up to six people or two households indoors, but this must still be done safely. Open windows to increase ventilation and please remain cautious about the risks that come with close personal contact, such as hugging.
People should continue to work from home and if travelling you should plan ahead in order to make your journey as safe as possible.
The changes taking place from Monday 17 May are:
Indoor entertainment and attractions will re-open. This includes cinemas and theatres
You can meet up with up to 30 people outside - social distancing rules still remain
Up to six people, or two households can meet indoors
Organised indoor sports can take place, such as exercise classes
Domestic overnight stays are allowed and remaining hotels and B&Bs can reopen
Pubs can open indoors, but can only provide table service
Outdoor performances can take place
The limit on larger indoor and outdoor events will increase
The requirement for students at schools to wear face masks has been removed
There has been an amendment to the original change to funerals, which will now see the removal of the limit of 30 people attending a funeral– this will now allow for as many people to attend a funeral as can be safely accommodated, and those attending will be advised to follow social distancing guidelines to minimise transmission risks.
The new changes also do not apply to commemorative events to celebrate the life of someone who has passed away, such as wakes – these will still be limited to up to 30 attendees from Step 3.
Following this step the Government will complete a review of social distancing and other measures that have been put in place. This review will determine when the rules may be lifted. Part of this review will also include whether COVID-status certification is a viable option to help move the economy forward and improve safety.
The next (and final) step is due to take place on Monday 21 June, which will see all restrictions in England lifted.