Easing the COVID-19 restrictions on 18 May (Phase 1)

Shops and other commercial businesses

Shops that can reopen

You can see the full list of shops that can reopen here.

Outdoor shops

Shops that are mainly outdoor (for example: garden centres, hardware stores, farmers' markets) can reopen so long as social distancing measures can be put in place.

Education and childcare

Opening of schools and colleges

School and college buildings are open for access by teachers for organisation and distribution of remote learning.


People who work outdoors

A phased return of outdoor workers (for example: construction workers, gardeners, including people working on allotments) has commenced. Social distancing requirements continue to apply.

Remote working

Remote working is to continue for all workers or businesses that can do so.

Sport and tourism

Outdoor spaces

Outdoor spaces and tourism sites (for example: car parks, beaches, mountain walks) are open where people can move around freely and where social distancing can be maintained.

Group exercise

You can exercise - either on your own or in a group of no more than 4 people - where social distancing can be maintained and where there is no contact with other people.


It is now possible to participate in a range of sporting activities in groups of no more than 4 people within 5 kilometres of the households of those involved.

Social distancing should be maintained at all times.

The range of sports which can resume is as follows:

  • golf

  • pitch and putt

  • tennis

  • equestrian sport (not in indoor arenas)

  • athletics (clubs in outdoor track setting)

  • cycling

  • triathlon

  • orienteering

  • bowls

  • angling

  • open water swimming

  • sailing

  • rowing

  • canoeing

  • hillwalking

Health and social care

There will be increased delivery of non-COVID-19 care and services alongside COVID-19 care to meet demand through:

  • implementing measures to ensure safe delivery of COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 care and services side by side

  • continuing to deliver care and services in new ways (for example: through telephone, online, virtual clinics) and new models of care to meet demand and to alleviate concerns of patients, service users and healthcare workers

  • the use of masks, personal protective equipment, testing and other measures that may emerge over time

  • continuing to support the mental health and wellbeing initiatives directed to meeting the diverse mental health and resilience needs of the public during these times




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