As of today, March 29, the government's 'stay at home' mantra has been replaced with a new message of 'stay local'.

For many, the milestone is greeted with much excitement as restrictions on social interaction with loved ones are finally relaxed.

But how specifically do the new rules affect people across Welwyn Hatfield?

Here's everything you need to know about the lockdown easing and what it means for you.

Welwyn Hatfield Times: People will be able to meet outside from March 29People will be able to meet outside from March 29 (Image: Helena Lopes/Pexels)

Can I meet with family and friends?

From today, you can meet outdoors with family and friends in groups of six or as two households.

Groups of six can all be from different households, while meetings of two households can have more than six people.

Each household can include those in existing support bubbles.

In addition to public places, meetings can take place in private gardens.

Those from different households must, however, continue to observe social distancing rules and meeting indoors is still prohibited.

Welwyn Hatfield Times: Panshanger Golf CoursePanshanger Golf Course (Image: Phil Surbey Photographers)

Can I play my favourite sport again?

For the most part, yes.

Outdoor sports facilities such as football pitches, golf courses and tennis and basketball courts are now allowed to open for public use.

In most cases, these will have to be booked in advance in order to maintain social distancing and avoid several people turning up at once.

Panshanger Golf Course, grass roots junior football on the Moneyhole Lane playing pitches and some outdoor sports activities in Stanborough Park are now open.

In general, the 'rule of six' will apply to outdoor sports, but activities which have been formally organised - by a qualified coach or club, for example - are exempt.

You will not be able to play sport indoors until April 12, when gyms will also reopen. Group exercise classes are unlikely to resume indoors until mid-May.

Welwyn Hatfield Times: Splashlands will open on April 12 not March 29Splashlands will open on April 12 not March 29 (Image: Kevin Lines Photography)

Until now, national lockdown guidelines have stated exercise "should be local wherever possible", although there has been acceptance that people may need to travel a short distance to access an open space.

But the term "local" has not been legally defined in this context and is set to become even more pertinent as the core message switches to 'stay local'.

In its roadmap plan published last month, the government advised the public to "minimise travel wherever possible".

Welwyn Hatfield Times: The Galleria shopping centre in HatfieldThe Galleria shopping centre in Hatfield (Image: Alan Davies)

What about heading into another town?

When it comes to the prospect of heading into the city, the situation is largely the same as above.

The definition of 'local' varies greatly depending on which part of the country you live in.

Welwyn Hatfield Times: Zoos are set to remain shut until April 12Zoos are set to remain shut until April 12 (Image: Paradise Wildlife Park)

Can I take my kids to the zoo?

Not yet, unfortunately as zoos and safari parks, such as Paradise Wildlife Park and Whipsnade Zoo, are currently scheduled to welcome back customers from April 12, alongside other out door attractions.

Welwyn Hatfield Times: Advice to work from home is likely to remain in place for several more weeks, or even monthsAdvice to work from home is likely to remain in place for several more weeks, or even months (Image: Archant)

Do I need to carry on working from home?

Yes, and you are likely to continue for several more weeks.

Existing guidelines say you can only leave home for work purposes where it is unreasonable for you to do your job from home.

This includes, but is not limited to, people who work within critical national infrastructure, construction or manufacturing.

In short, anything that requires in-person attendance.

Welwyn Hatfield Times: Pubs won't be opening until April 12, when it will be outside seating onlyPubs won't be opening until April 12, when it will be outside seating only (Image: Archant)

Are the pubs finally opening?

You'll have to wait a little bit longer for that pub grub and crisp, cold pint.

Restaurants and pubs won't be reopening until April 12, and even then it will be outside seating only.

They will be permitted to serve food and drinks to customers sitting outdoors, including alcohol.

In keeping with the social contact rules being introduced on March 29, punters can only meet in groups of six from different households, or in groups of any size if there are just two households.

Welwyn Hatfield Times: Tens of thousands will no longer need to shield after March 31Tens of thousands will no longer need to shield after March 31 (Image: OCSKAY MARK)

Do my vulnerable family members still have to shield?

They do, but only for a couple more days.

Coronavirus shielding for 63,000 extremely vulnerable people in Norfolk will come to an end on Wednesday, March 31.

Dr Jenny Harries, the deputy chief medical officer for England, has said they should continue to take extra precautions, such as continuing to observe social distancing and working from home.

Anyone who has been shielding but has not yet had a COVID vaccine has been advised by the county council to contact their GP.