Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed that restrictions will continue to be relaxed in England on Monday, despite concerns that the Indian COVID-19 variant could be more transmissible.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that he believes the Indian variant is more transmissible than previous variants but that there was no sign yet of increased hospitalisations, even in areas such as Bolton and Blackburn, which have seen higher numbers of the new variant.

From Monday, the following changes will take effect:

  • Outdoors, most social contact rules will be lifted – although gatherings of over 30 people will remain illegal.
  • Outdoor performances such as outdoor cinemas, outdoor theatres and outdoor cinemas can reopen.. Indoors, the rule of 6 or 2 households will apply – although we will keep under review whether it is safe to increase this.
  • Indoor hospitality, entertainment venues such as cinemas and soft play areas, the rest of the accommodation sector, and indoor adult group sports and exercise classes will also reopen.
  • Larger performances and sporting events in indoor venues with a capacity of 1,000 people or half-full (whichever is lower) will also be allowed, as will those in outdoor venues with a capacity of 4000 people or half-full (whichever is lower).
  • In the largest outdoor seated venues where crowds can spread out, up to 10,000 people will be able to attend (or a quarter-full, whichever is lower).
  • Up to 30 people will be able to attend weddings and receptions. Other life events that will be permitted include bar mitzvahs and christenings.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson also said that the government will accelerate the administering of second doses to over-50s and the clinically vulnerable.