Like last year, Easter celebrations will be somewhat different this year due to the ongoing pandemic and the lockdown restrictions that come with it; however this week has seen some rules ease. With this in mind we wanted to take a look at the Government’s lockdown roadmap to see what you can do to make the most of the break.
Who can you see?
The introduction of much wider rules for how many people can gather outdoors, means we won't need to be stuck indoors or celebrate the holiday alone this time around. Seeing our friends and family again is definitely something to celebrate! There are two definitions for what groups are allowed.
The rule of six: This means six people from many different households can meet up outside. Children of any age are included in the count, which means if six adults met and one of them was carrying a baby, that would be against the rules.
Two families: This means that two families can meet up outside, even if there are more than six people present.
These groups can only meet outside in a public place such as a park or a private garden and must practice social distancing. Indoor mixing is strictly banned. Those in a support bubble will count as part of the same household, but people from different households will still need to socially distance from each other. Businesses, including hospitality, remain closed.
Where can you go?
Gatherings of up to six people or two households are now allowed to meet up outside, so families can meet another family or a group of friends for a walk, outdoor exercise, coffee or even an Easter picnic.
The public outdoor places you can visit include:
- parks and beaches
- forests, woodland and countryside accessible to the public
- public and botanical gardens
- the grounds of heritage sites (e.g. National Trust)
- public playgrounds
- private back gardens
As a result of the easing of the "Stay Home" guidance, a number of outdoor activities are taking place over the bank holiday, including the National Trust running Easter egg hunts in its nature trails. You’ll need to book for such events: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/
On March 29, the Government dropped its ‘stay local’ messaging, meaning households are no longer explicitly told to remain in their geographical area. Instead there is new guidance that encourages people to “minimise” travel - reflecting the fact that the Government does not want people continually moving across the country. However, there is now nothing to stop someone driving a few hundred miles, seeing a family member outside, and then driving back that same day, providing they do not stay the night.
Can you have a family barbecue?
While it’s often tradition to cook a big hearty roast dinner at Easter with all the family gathered around - barbecues are looking like a very worthy alternative. So get the patio heaters out and the charcoal on stand-by because gathering around the barbecue in your back garden is the new norm this Easter.
Remember that you’ll need to abide by the rule of six/ two households and maintain social distancing from those outside your household or support bubble.
Visitors are only allowed to enter the house when walking through to get to the garden or to use the bathroom.
What about activities for the kids?
Some of the traditional activities may be off the cards this year, but there are still plenty of fun things you can do to keep the kids entertained.
Hold your own Easter Egg Hunt: There’s no reason why you can't hold an Easter egg hunt of your own in your house and garden. All you need is some wrapped chocolate eggs, a piece of paper and a pen to note down where you left them, and a basket or bucket for the found eggs to be kept in.
Egg and Spoon Race: Why not challenge your youngsters to an egg and spoon race? You can hold them inside or outside, depending on if you have a garden, and all you need is some eggs (remember to hard boil them first) and some spoons. You can make it more challenging by introducing some obstacles.
Hold an Easter picnic: Current restrictions mean up to six people or two households can meet outside to socialise, so why not head to your local park or use your garden to host an Easter picnic with all the works.
Easter crafts and baking: Easter crafts and baking are a good way of getting your youngsters to be a little bit creative over the half-term. Why not have an easter bonnet competition, hard boil some eggs and decorate them, or create some yummy easter cakes - Pinterest and Instagram have hundreds of ideas for inspo.
What about tourist attractions, farms, zoos and theme parks?
Unfortunately, it won’t be possible to visit your favourite tourist attractions, farms, zoos or theme parks this Easter.
Outdoor tourist attractions won't reopen until April 12 and indoor attractions not before May 17.
Can you partake in sport?
Sport for adults is most definitely back on this Easter. So if it’s a game of golf you’re itching for or a spot of outdoor swimming, you’re in luck. Football, tennis, cricket, basketball, golf, and all other manner of outdoor sports as pitches across the country reopened on March 29.
Outdoor swimming pools, driving and shooting ranges, riding arenas at riding centres, archery venues and climbing walls also opened. So too outdoor gyms. The wider "rule of six" social contact limits apply to outdoor sports.
If the sport has been formally organised – for example by a qualified instructor, club, national governing body, company or charity – it is not subject to the gatherings limits. But the Government guidance says it "should be compliant with guidance issued by national governing bodies".