The UK is finally starting to warm up and spring has truly begun to leap into action, just in time for the first relaxation of the government’s 2021 lockdown measures. Everyone is certainly forgiven to be itching to get outside after being cooped up at home for months, but it’s important you approach the new rules safely. Here are our tips on how to do just that.
What are the lockdown rules in place over Easter?
First, let’s look at the rules. In the government’s Spring 2021 COVID-19 Response document, from the 29th of March two households, or up to six people from different households, can meet outdoors, in public spaces or gardens. Outdoor sports and leisure facilities are open, alongside organised outdoor sports activities, and outdoor parent and child groups of up to 15 parents are also permitted. Indoor socialising is still prohibited though, alongside holidays.
Assuming COVID-19 numbers continue to decrease, from April 12th, much more of the economy will open, including indoor leisure, outdoor attractions, outdoor hospitality, and retail. The outdoor rule of six will continue though, until late May.
So how can you and your family stay safe in spring, while still supporting one another?
See isolated family and friends
The pandemic has had a big effect on our mental health, and what’s more, many will have suffered physically from COVID-19. Looking at a recent survey by personal injury solicitors, National Accident Helpline, we can understand the likely effect this has had. The results showed that seven in ten people who’ve had a physical injury saw their mental health impacted as a result.
Combine this with the isolation we’ve all experienced recently, and it’s important we start to see and support each other, especially those that have suffered COVID-19, in-person to aid recovery.
Consider your travel plans
While the stay-at-home rule has been lifted, the authorities are asking people to minimise journeys. According to a recent poll by the RAC, only 5.6 million car trips to see friends and family are planned by drivers over the Easter weekend in 2021, compared to 12.2 million in 2019, so it seems this message is getting through to the public.
It’s important we prioritise seeing nearby family and friends over those located far away. However, if your family includes several older people or those who live alone, talk to extended friends and family and make a plan to ensure everyone can have a chance to see one another outdoors so nobody is left out over Easter.
Make the garden COVID-friendly
Whether you’re welcoming friends and family to your garden or heading to someone else’s, it’s important that you do so safely. Make sure that there is enough space for people to safely distance two metres from one another and ensure that there is plenty of hand sanitiser available in the bathroom guests are using. If you have multiple bathrooms, have each household use a different one to minimise the usage of each room within the house.
If children are joining you, make sure there’s an area they can play in that’s shaded (weather depending!), and if you’re planning a barbeque or refreshments, practice common sense and ensure that people don’t share cups, plates, and cutlery.
With leisure venues opening across the country, consider heading to nearby outdoor spots for a breath of fresh air and to take the opportunity to soak in the spring warmth. English Heritage, for example, are running a range of walks across more than 60 of its sites across the country – a great choice if you’re itching for a change of scenery that isn’t your local park.