People across England began enjoying a series of newfound freedoms today as indoor hospitality returned and hugs with family and friends were allowed again.
The next stage of the post-lockdown roadmap went ahead as planned at midnight, with up to six people or two different households now allowed to meet indoors.
Hugs and other physical contact between households are now permitted for the first time since Covid-19 restrictions began more than a year ago in March 2020.
Pubs and restaurants can now welcome customers back indoors, visits to the homes of friends and family can resume and the foreign holiday ban has ended.
Cinemas, hotels and B&Bs also reopened, although anyone visiting a pub must remain seated while eating or drinking – and nightclubs remain closed for now.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
Here, MailOnline looks at what your newfound freedoms are from today:
Can people come over to my house again?
Yes. Up to six people from multiple households or an unlimited number of people from two households can now visit you inside your house again.
Can people stay over at my house again?
Yes. People from outside your household are now allowed to stay overnight, as long as you stick to within the rule of six or two households.
Can I still meet people outside?
Yes. You can now meet in groups of up to 30 people outside, but bigger groups are illegal.
A member of staff serves food to customers at the Northwestern pub in Liverpool this morning
Can I hug my friends and family again?Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
Yes. The Government has said you can now hug 'close friends and family' from outside your own household - for the first time since the pandemic began.
However, people should 'exercise their own personal judgement in line with the risks.' There is no legal definition on who 'close friends and family' are.
Wider social distancing rules remain in place in adult social care, medical, retail, hospitality and business settings, the Government said.
Can I sit inside a pub again?
Yes, indoor hospitality has resumed – so you can sit inside a pub or restaurant with people from other households, as long as the rule of six (or two households) is met.
Is there a substantial meal or curfew requirement for pubs?
No. As with step two on April 12, venues do not have to serve a substantial meal with alcoholic drinks; nor is there a curfew.
The National Youth Choir of Scotland meet on Calton Hill in Edinburgh to sing this morning
Can I stand at the bar?
No. Customers still have to order, eat and drink while seated at a hospitality venue – even though they are now allowed inside.
Are indoor entertainment venues now allowed to reopen?
Yes. Cinemas, theatres, museums and indoor children's play areas can all now reopen, but must follow guidelines on social distancing and face masks.
Concert halls, conference centres and sports stadia are also now allowed to reopen, with larger events in all venues able to resume with capacity limits (see below).
Sunny Jouhal, general manager of the lastminute.com London Eye, stands on top of a London Eye pod to celebrate the re-opening of the attraction today
Do venues face capacity limits?
Yes. Larger performances and sporting events are now capped in indoor venues with a capacity of 1,000 people or half-full, whichever is a lower number. For outdoor venues the cap is 4,000 people or half-full - again, whichever is lower.
In the largest outdoor seated venues, where crowds can be spread out, up to 10,000 people are now able to attend - or a quarter-full, whichever is lower.
Will social distancing and face masks rules remain for now?
Yes. The one-metre (3ft) rule remains in place in public settings such as pubs, shops and restaurants. You should wear a face mask when walking around these places.
What about children wearing masks in schools?
Secondary school children no longer have to wear face masks in classrooms and corridors from today. However, those aged 11 and above are still required to wear the masks in public settings such as shops, unless they have a medical exemption.
Ministers said infection rates among students and staff continue to decrease in line with wider community transmission, but twice weekly home testing will remain.
Guests at Studley Castle Hotel in Warwickshire eat at its restaurant, in a picture issued today
Can students now attend university lectures in person again?
Yes. All university students in England can return to campus today for in-person teaching. They will be expected to get tested for Covid-19 twice a week.
Most students, apart from