Boris Johnson has announced the details of the next stage of England’s lockdown easing.

Monday – 17 May – marks step three of the roadmap out of lockdown, and the Prime Minister has approved the relaxation of measures that it entails, as cases and hospitalisations continue to fall and we glimpse a way out of the ‘new normal’ and back to the much preferred ‘old normal’.

But with freedom just around the corner, what does that actually mean?

We’ve stripped away the coronavirus buzzwords and tiresome communications from the government to let you know what’s on the table:

Indoor pubs and restaurants

As much as we have enjoyed shivering outside in pub gardens while the rain dilutes our drinks, from next week we will actually be allowed to go inside pubs and restaurants and not just to go to the toilet.

This means that jostling to get noticed at the bar, hearing lads cheer when someone spills a drink, making friends with someone in the toilet, being able to take your coat off, walls AND roofs are all back and better than ever.

Six people or two households to meet inside

It is time to put your sourdough starter where your mouth is. Claimed to have got good at cooking over lockdown while restaurants have been closed? Made all the TikTok recipes the app has to offer? Well with six people or two households allowed to gather inside from next week, you can host dinner parties, watch TV, or do whatever anyone does inside, like...

“Friendly, intimate contact”

So sayeth Michael Gove. From 17 May we can cautiously engage in some physical affection with loved ones. Of course, we must respect people’s lockdown boundaries and people will move at different paces. So - when meeting up with a friend in the pub DON’T embrace them tightly and lick their face. DO say: “would you mind if we engaged in some friendly, intimate contact?” and offer them a limp handshake. It’s just British manners.

Two friends hugging in a restaurant

Overnight stays

And as you are allowed to meet inside and have some, er, friendly, intimate contact, you are also allowed to stay over at other people’s houses and also hotels and hostels and all that jazz. Can you imagine having a different set of walls surrounding you? A different pillow? Sheets not stained with coffee from working from bed? We can’t.


Culture’s back. Time to stare at our favourite exhibit, the gift shop, and shove children away from the interactive games.

Indoor exercise classes

As much as we are excited that health and endorphins are to be legalised, we will definitely spend our first spin class with the resistance turned off as we remember how to move our bodies again.


Because after a year stuck inside with each other and no one else, we are sure couples are thriving.

International travel

Not so fast. There’s a great new coronavirus phrase to suck the joy out of your holidays and it is “traffic light system”. Countries have been ranked from ‘most to least likely to cause a new wave of coronavirus if we let Brits get a tan there’. Those on the green list are chill to roam around subject to a negative coronavirus test, while those on the amber and red list will see Brits made to pay the price of their wanderlust with varying degrees of quarantine. Fun!

Gathering in groups of 30 outside

Gosh, how we have missed gathering in groups of 30 outside.


After a year spent watching films glued to our screens at home to pass the time, we will finally be allowed to watch films glued to bigger screens to pass the time. Phew!


Forgive us if we recycle a cheap joke made in February.

So there we have it, liberty. Use it wisely.

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