THE stay at home message will be ditched in England from Monday – but you still face a fine if you try to leave the country.
Millions of Brits were ordered to stay at home under the third national lockdown, working from their own house and unable to meet up with friends in an attempt to stop the spread of Covid.
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A woman looks wistfully out the window after weeks of staying at home (stock)Credit: Getty
But Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown has now started to unfold, with the next phase to take place from March 29.
And the next phase also means the “Stay Home” slogan will be axed in England.
Under the current rules, many Brits had been fined for not having a reasonable excuse for heading outside.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland’s lockdown rules differ due to their devolved governments, but they are also lifting lockdown restrictions.
Nicola Sturgeon already allowed groups of four from two households to meet outdoors earlier this month, and will ditch the “Stay Home” message for Scots from April 2.
Meanwhile Wales lifted the “Stay Home” order on March 13, but told people to stay local. Four people from two households can also meet outside.
Northern Ireland is set to reintroduce the Rule of Six outdoors from April 1, with the “Stay Home” order lifted on April 12.
It comes as…
But the change now means that people will be told simply to “minimise travel”.
That means people can visit family members a couple of hours drive away or visit a park in another part of the country and not be fined.
You could even go to the Lake District for a walk and not be fined from Monday, March 29.
And in great news, most of the country will bask in a balmy 20C mini-heatwave next week as outdoor meet-ups are finally allowed.
Brits previously were told to exercise once a dayCredit: PA
Under new Covid laws, which were published by ministers yesterday people across the country will be officially banned from leaving the country without a reasonable excuse.
This means Brits will be fined if you travel to a travel point like an airport or international train station to head on holiday.
Previously the holiday ban was implied, as it was not one of the reasons people are allowed to leave their homes.
The new travel laws come in on Monday as part of lockdown rules being lifted, but effectively there’s no big change for holidays as they are already banned.
Brits already have to also fill out a form if they do want to leave the country, stating their permitted reason to do so, or they will face a £200 fine for not having the right paperwork.
What else will change on March 29?
Under the PM’s four-step plan, restrictions will change on key dates over the coming months until lockdown is expected to be completely lifted finally by June 21.
From March 8, students headed back to school in England as part of the first phase.
And now from March 29, the rule of six will be re-introduced, allowing six people – or two households – to mix outdoors.
This means even small gatherings in private gardens will be permitted in a little over a month – just in time for Easter over the April 4 weekend.
Can I have a garden party or BBQ for Easter?
Yes! You are allowed to meet up outside with five other people or one other household, from March 29.
You should still follow social distancing guidelines.
My household has five family members and wants to meet up with six relatives who all live together – will we be able to see each other?
Yes, you can.
This new restriction was introduced – telling Brits that it is OK for two households to meet up outside from March 29.
The roadmap states: “Applying either limit provides greater flexibility, recognising the different situations faced by families and individuals; two households will be more helpful for families, while the Rule of 6 is likely to help people in different households to reunite outdoors, including those living alone or in shared accommodation.”
However, you should still follow the social distancing guidelines, with hugs not expected to be allowed until May.
I live alone and want to meet up with five other friends in the park – is this allowed?
Yes! Under the roadmap, the Rule of Six has been re-introduced. This means that a group of six or less are allowed to see each other from March 29.
Can I have a birthday party indoors with the windows open?
No, not yet. May 17 will mark the lifting of the many indoor restrictions that are currently in place.
That date will mark a change in rules with indoor mixing in people’s homes, including overnight stays, to be allowed once again with Rule of Six and a limit of two households.
We are a family of four and want to meet both sets of grandparents outside at the same time – is this OK?
No. The rules state that only two households should mix outside.
Can I drive 50 miles to meet my sister for a coffee outside?
Yes, but be cautious. It will not be illegal to travel outside your local area from March 29 – meaning you won’t be fined.
However, you should still socially distance and limit other contact where possible.
Can I travel to Australia to see my family?
No. The ban on non-essential travel will remain in place until at least May 17.
However, a review into how to restart travel safely will be released on April 12.
Do I need to wear masks and stick to social distancing when I have a picnic with friends?
You should try to socially distance as much as possible even as the restrictions are lifted from March 29.
The roadmap states: “Guidance will set out how people can see others safely: the evidence is clear that this is safest to do in the open air, at a safe distance, while minimising the frequency of social gatherings and the numbers present wherever possible.”
Outdoor team sports and activities such as tennis and golf will also return from March 29, with people able to head to their local sports clubs again.
But indoor facilities like gyms won’t be open until at least April 12.
April 12 will see the first major easing of restrictions with, non-essential shops and hairdressers to reopen and restrictions on people’s travel will be further relaxed.
Barbers and salons will open a week earlier in Scotland, on April 5, while they have already reopened in Wales.
And a few weeks later, on May 17, many indoor restrictions are expected ot be lifted.
Indoor mixing in people’s homes, including overnight stays, will be allowed once again with Rule of Six and a limit of two households.
Finally in June, all restrictions are expected to be lifted.
Today, on the anniversary of the first lockdown, Boris Johnson vowed to end the restrictions “once and for all”.
The PM warned a third Covid wave in Europe would “wash up on our shores”, but hailed our jabs success and national spirit.
Almost 28million people have so far received the jab in the UK.