THE Government's 'Stay Home' message has officially come to an end as further lockdown restrictions have been relaxed.

From today, certain restrictions that have been in place since January will no longer apply as new rules on who you can mix are introduced.

The easing of certain restrictions, which apply to the North-East and North Yorkshire - as well as the whole of England, offer some changes to travel, socialising and sport.

We've put together everything you need to know about the new rules from today and have listed what you CAN and CANNOT do.

The rule-of-six is back

The Northern Echo:

From today, up to six individuals from different household can now meet in any outdoor public space, and in private gardens.

It means one person is now able to meet with up to five other people, even if they are not from the same household, provided they do not exceed a group of six.

The only time you will be permitted to exceed a group of six people is when individuals from no more than two households mix outdoors.

For example, if you are from a household of four people, you can mix outdoors with another household consisting of three, even if your group is then made up of seven.

The Government guidance states this is being done to "make it easier" for friends and families to meet, while it says evidence still suggests it is safer to meet outdoors.

Restrictions on mixing with other households indoors still apply, unless you are in a support bubble or childcare bubble.

It means you should continue not mixing with anyone from other households in any indoor settings, including in public places such as supermarkets and shopping centres.

It is now 'Stay Local' instead of 'Stay Home

The Northern Echo:

The 'Stay Home' message has been replaced with 'Stay Local,' meaning you no longer need a reason to leave your house.

But the general advice is that you should avoid travelling an unnecessary distance unless for a permitted reason.

It means you should not travel further than necessary unless it is for work or educational purposes, medical, to care for a loved one, or essential shopping.

Previously Stay Home meant you could run the risk of being issued a fine for not having a valid reason for leaving your home. 

The introduction of the 'Stay Local' message means you should continue to work from home, minimising the number of journeys made where appropriate. 

Some sports facilities can now open

The Northern Echo:

From today, outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts, and open-air swimming pools, can legally reopen their doors.

People are also now allowed to take part in formally organised outdoor sports.

In the region, leisure centre and pool owners have already began preparing their reopening plans with some limiting the number of people permitted - but not all will reopen from today.

In Northumberland, the Haltwhistle Swimming and Leisure Centre has confirmed it is aiming to reopen its outdoor facilities within the next four weeks.

In County Durham, the Stanhope Open Air Swimming Pool has said it will not reopening until June 2, where it will be restricted to lane swimming only.

Meanwhile in North Yorkshire, the Helmsley Open Air Pool, at Helmsley near Thirsk, confirmed plans to reopen its pool on June 21. 

When are the next set of restrictions being lifted 

The move from 'Stay Home' to 'Stay Local' completes phase two of step one of the Government's roadmap. 

Further lockdown restrictions which will see non-essential retail, and beer gardens, allowed to reopen are set to be eased on April 12.