THERE is much uncertainty on whether national lockdown restrictions will be removed as planned later this month.

As part of the Government’s roadmap out of the third national lockdown, all remaining restrictions are currently set to end no earlier than June 21.

But following concerns over emerging variants and their impact on the vaccination rollout, there has been talk that this date could face being pushed back.

We are set to learn in coming days whether the Government intends to push ahead with the easing, or whether the brakes will be applied.

But although the majority of restrictions have now been lifted, we've looked through the guidance to bring you a list of what rules are left to lift.

This list also effectively determines what could remain under lockdown if the roadmap ends up being delayed. 

Nightclubs and remaining closed venues

During the entire pandemic, nightclubs have been among the venues that have been forced to stay closed due to the risk of transmission and close contact.

According to Government guidance, this also includes dance halls, discotheques, sexual entertainment venues and hostess bars.

If the easing of restrictions are delayed beyond June 21, then these businesses would have to remain closed.

Limits on large events and performances

In line with the easing of rules in the third step of the Government's roadmap, events are currently limited in their capacity.

Currently, indoor venues are allowed to have a capacity of 1,000 people or half-full.

Meanwhile, outdoor venues are currently allowed to have a capacity of 4,000 people or half-full.

In the largest of outdoor seated venues, where crowds can be safely spread out, up to 10,000 people of quarter-full are able to attend.

Under the fourth and final step of the roadmap out of lockdown, all such restrictions are expected to end and venues would be able to accommodate normal capacities.

Guest numbers at funerals and weddings

Currently, up to 30 people are allowed to attend weddings, receptions and wakes as well as funerals, both indoors and outdoors.

Restrictions on the number of people allowed to attend such gatherings were eased on May 17, following the further lifting of lockdown restrictions indoors. 

If step four goes ahead, such limits on gatherings would be removed and events allowed to take place as they did before the pandemic.

Social contact 

The last easing of restrictions gave the greatest "freedom" back to people as those in England were once again permitted to mix indoors, and allowed to hug one another.

Currently, the rule-of-six applies indoors - meaning up to six individuals (or two households) can mix in any setting inside.

Outdoors, the rule-of-six does not apply but restrictions still mean only groups of up to 30 people can mix.

If step four of the roadmap goes ahead, all such restrictions and limits on social contact will be removed. 

What Downing Street have said

The Northern Echo:

Earlier this week, Downing Street released a statement following the suggestion that the easing of all lockdown restrictions may not take place later this month.

Number 10 said the data emerging over the coming week will be "crucial" in deciding whether all legal limits can be removed on June 21.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said as things stand there is "nothing" currently to suggest the easing may not go ahead, as caution was exercised.

The spokesperson said: “There still remains that there is nothing in the data currently to suggest Step 4 can’t go ahead at the earliest date.

“But we do need to look very closely at the data over this coming week, which will be crucial to decide and really to get a sense of the data, particularly on hospitalisations and whether or not the excellent vaccine rollout programme has sufficiently severed that link between the increase in cases, which we always expected to happen, particularly after Step 3, and that subsequently leading to hospitalisations and deaths.”

Asked if there is evidence of a third wave, the spokesman said: “We can see that the cases are rising in the UK, that is both due to the increased transmissibility of the Delta variant, and to a certain extent the opening up of measures taken in Step 3.”

But doubts have been cast

However, the Health Secretary Matt Hancock admitted that the Government remains "open" to postponing restrictions if the data suggests so.

Yesterday, Mr Hancock told the BBC: "We are absolutely open to doing that if that’s what needs to happen.

“We said in the road map that June 21 is the date by which we would not take Step 4 before that date and that we would look at the data."