Lockdown easing: not ready for indoor dining? Here are 9 things you can do instead

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Lauren Geall
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Want to get out and about now lockdown has lifted, but don’t feel ready to enjoy indoor dining? Check out our alternative guide to celebrating the easing of restrictions. 

The third step in the government’s roadmap to ease the country out of lockdown has finally arrived. Although there’s renewed hesitancy about the idea of ‘getting back to normal’ now that Covid-19 cases are rising again, from today (17 May) you can finally think about getting back out and enjoying some of the things you love (albeit cautiously).  

Of course, one of the most talked-about restrictions being lifted today is that on indoor hospitality. For those who have spent the last month sat outside with their pints in the pouring rain, the idea of being able to go inside a pub, bar or restaurant – with up to six friends or two households of any size, no less – is understandably exciting.

However, just because some people are excited to get back to indoor eating and drinking, doesn’t mean that’s the only way to celebrate the easing of restrictions.  

There are plenty of reasons why you might not feel comfortable, or simply don’t want to, go back to a pub or restaurant just yet, and every single one of those is valid. At the end of the day, it’s OK to take things at your own pace

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So, what else can you do to make the most of restrictions easing? From taking a trip to the cinema to enjoying a coffee at your local café, here’s our alternative guide to everything you can do to celebrate the easing of restrictions.

Please note that these suggestions are based on the rules in England, so make sure to double-check what the guidelines are in your local area before you do anything and make sure to follow all the necessary precautions.

Visit an exhibition

With art galleries and museums now able to open their doors, there are loads of brilliant exhibitions just waiting to be explored. What are you waiting for? 

Treat yourself to a fancy coffee

If you want to jump on the indoor hospitality bandwagon but don’t feel quite ready to enjoy a full meal, why not take a trip to your local café and order yourself a fancy coffee? You could even invite a friend and make it a date. 

A coffee at a cafe
Treat yourself to a fancy coffee... inside.

Book a weekend away

Just because foreign travel is allowed again (albeit to certain countries) doesn’t mean you have to go abroad to enjoy a mini-break. While self-catered accommodation was allowed to re-open back on 12 April, from today, all remaining accommodation in England – including hotels, hostels and B&Bs – are allowed to open their doors for groups of up to six people or two households.  

Attend a gym class

Gyms may have reopened last month, but if you’re struggling to get your fitness mojo back, why not try booking yourself into an IRL class? Not only is it a great way to ease yourself into spending time around people again, but it’s also good for your mind and body.

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Host a bumper picnic

Forget the days when you had to choose which friends to invite to your weekend picnic – from today, outdoor gatherings of up to 30 people are permitted, so you can get everyone together for some tinnies and fun in the park.

Go to the cinema

With so many brilliant films from the minds of excellent female directors on their way over the next couple of months, what better way to celebrate the easing of restrictions than to take a trip to the cinema? If you’re up for it, consider going alone – as Stylist’s Kayleigh Dray knows, it’s a brilliant form of self-care

Work from home with a mate

Working from home can get pretty boring, so why not mix things up and have a friend round to work from home with? You’re now allowed to meet with up to six friends or two households inside, so you can create your own mini office environment if you fancy it. 

An empty cinema
Sit back and relax with a trip to the cinema.

Watch a show

Although not all theatres and music venues will be back up and running from 17 May, there are some putting on shows. Capacity may be limited to maintain social distancing, so make sure you book in advance to avoid disappointment.

Go back to 12 April

Just because there are lots of new things you can do from today, doesn’t mean you can’t go back and enjoy some of the other rules which were lifted on 12 April – especially if you want to take things slow. From visiting a charity shop to getting a haircut, there are loads of things you can do now that you couldn’t do during lockdown. 

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Lauren Geall

As Stylist’s digital writer, Lauren Geall writes on topics including mental health, wellbeing and women’s issues. She’s also a big fan of houseplants and likes to dabble in film and TV from time-to-time. You can find her on Twitter at @laurenjanegeall.