COVID-19 restrictions to ease from the 8th of March – what does this mean for students?

On Monday the 22nd of February, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a road map for easing Coronavirus restrictions in England. The new rules will be introduced in different stages that will gradually see the end of all Coronavirus lockdown restrictions on June 21st. However, the Prime Minister made a point of saying that the easing of restrictions will be ‘cautious’ to ensure that the National Health Service doesn’t see an unmanageable number of COVID hospitalisations as it is inevitable that ‘lifting lockdown will lead to more cases’ across the UK. 

The information below is not a comprehensive list of all the new rules that were announced, but instead is a rundown of the rules that will apply to university students over the coming weeks. 

8th March 

  • University students will be able to return for practical courses, and universities are expected to notify all students whether or not this applies to them – check here for Bath’s latest guidance.
  • A review will be done at the end of the Easter holidays to decide whether remaining students can return to university. 
  • You can exercise outdoors once a day. 
  • Two people from different households can meet outside for recreation which can include a ‘’coffee on a bench’’ 

29th March 

  • People will be allowed to meet outside, either with one other household or within the ‘’rule of six’’, including private gardens 
  • The stay at home rule will end, but the government will still be urging everyone to stay in their local area 
  • Outdoor sports facilities will reopen 

12th April 

  • All shops will reopen 
  • Restaurants and pub gardens will be allowed to serve customers sitting outdoors, which includes alcohol 
  • Gyms can reopen  
  • Hairdressers, beauty salons and ‘’close contact services’’ can reopen 
  • UK domestic holidays away from home are permitted 
  • Libraries can reopen 

17th May 

  • People can meet in groups of up to 30 outdoors 
  • Six people or two households can meet indoors 
  • Pubs, restaurants and other hospitality venues can seat customers indoors 
  • Indoor entertainment such as museums, theatres and cinemas can open 
  • International travel to resume 

21st June 

  • All legal limits on social contact will be removed 
  • Nightclubs can reopen 

It’s important to note that the government’s briefing emphasised that UK-based and international students should not go back to university until the next government review after the Easter holidays. Nonetheless, the easing of restrictions has brought hope to people across the country after three lockdowns, and we will keep students informed about when they are able to return to Bath. 

Hopefully, we’ll be back to something like the below soon – until then, stay safe.

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