What can open when lockdown restrictions ease on April 12?

St Peter's Street, St Albans city centre.

St Albans city centre. Non-essential shops will be allowed to reopen from April 12. - Credit: Archant

A further easing of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions is planned for later this month.
 
The 'Rule of Six' returned to England on March 29, just in time for everyone to enjoy a bit of sunshine at the start of the Easter school holidays.
 
Monday also saw the government's "stay at home" message replaced with "stay local", with people flocking to St Albans' parks.

PM Boris Johnson during a media briefing on coronavirus on Monday, March 29, 2021, when lockdown rules were relaxed.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a media briefing on coronavirus from Downing Street's new media briefing room on Monday, March 29, 2021, when lockdown rules were relaxed. - Credit: PA

Provided there are no bumps in the road, Step 2 of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's roadmap is scheduled to take effect from Monday, April 12.

From that date, pubs and hospitality in St Albans and Harpenden will be able to serve customers a pint outside, you can go for that long-awaited haircut, and zoos such as ZSL Whipsnade can finally welcome back visitors outdoors.

Four-year-old Elizabeth is the youngest of ZSL Whipsnade Zoo's herd of endangered Asian elephants

Four-year-old Elizabeth is the youngest of ZSL Whipsnade Zoo's herd of endangered Asian elephants - Credit: ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

 
Also, major parts of the economy will be reopening, including non-essential shops as well as gyms and leisure centres.


What shops and businesses can reopen when lockdown eases on April 12?

Non-essential retail can reopen from April 12, including clothing stores, charity and antique shops, florists, and tobacco and vape stores.

Drinkers can also enjoy a pint down the pub soon, provided it is outdoors in a beer garden or terrace.  

It will be table service only, but thankfully, a "substantial meal" – such as a Cornish pasty or a Scotch egg – is no longer necessary to accompany your drink.

The Horn pub in St Albans

While The Horn pub in St Albans can't stage live music gigs just yet, the venue in Victoria Street will reopen on Monday, April 12. - Credit: Alan Davies

Among the many pubs in the St Albans district reopening on Monday, April 12 will be The Horn in Victoria Street.

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Restaurant dining and cafés will also be al fresco until indoor hospitality is allowed again at Step 3.

Families can head to the zoo again from April 12, while drive-in events, such as for cinemas, theatres and other performances, will also be allowed. 

But you will have to wait to see a movie indoors at the nearest multiplex or community picturehouse. 

Cinemas are not due to reopen until we reach Step 3 – which will be Monday, May 17 at the earliest.

The Odyssey cinema in St Albans.

The Odyssey cinema in St Albans is temporarily closed. Cinemas are not allowed to reopen until Step 3, which will be no earlier than May 17. - Credit: Alan Davies

From April 12, hairdressers and barbers can take bookings, and nail salons, tattoo studios, spas and massage centres, and tanning salons can also reopen as part of the Step 2 rules.
 
Fitness fanatics should be able to head to the gym again, as they along with other indoor leisure facilities, including indoor swimming pools, are scheduled to reopen from Monday, April 12 in line with government guidelines.

Also allowed to open up will be "self-contained holiday accommodation".

This means holiday lets and cottages but only for a single household/support bubble.

When it comes to weddings and civil partnership ceremonies, up to 15 people will be allowed, an increase on the current six.
 
As for numbers at a funeral, 30 people can attend.

St Albans Cathedral.

St Albans Cathedral. - Credit: Alan Davies

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