When will lockdown end? This is the full timetable to easing national restrictions
Boris Johnson has outlined the Government’s ‘roadmap’ of easing lockdown restrictions in the House of Commons.
Seven weeks into the third national lockdown, the Prime Minister has outlined the Government’s plans to ease restrictions – and how long it will take.
Mr Johnson has outlined four steps which will see different elements of society reopen – with at least a five week interval between each step.
Unlike the regional tiers which has been in place during the final months of 2020, the lockdown measures are set to be relaxed nationally.
Four tests will be used by the Government to assess the impact of opening certain areas of society back up after lockdown, with Mr Johnson indicating he'll be taking a "data not dates" approach to easing restrictions.
Step One – March
From March 8, all primary, secondary and further education pupils will go back to school. This will include breakfast clubs and after-school sports and other clubs to help parents and guardians with childcare.
Boris Johnson said the return of students will be supported by twice weekly testing of secondary school and college pupils.
From this date, one person can meet another person from a different household (who are not in a support bubble) outdoors – which is not limited to exercise. They will be able to meet outdoors for a coffee on a park bench or for a picnic.
Also on March 8, care home residents will be able to nominate one named visitor who will be able to visit them regularly indoors – providing they are tested and wear PPE.
From March 29, the rule of six will come back into force for people meeting outdoors including in public and private gardens. Families from two households will also be able to meet.
On this date, tennis and basketball courts, open air swimming pools and other outdoor sports facilities will be able to reopen and formally organised outdoor sports will resume subject to guidance.
From March 29, the public will no longer be required to ‘stay at home’.
Step Two – April 12
The next step will begin at least five weeks later and will be dependant on the data. At the earliest, step two will be implemented from April 12.
Step Two will see non-essential retail and personal care, including hairdressers and nail salons, open.
Gyms will also reopen and holiday lets can be used by individuals or household groups.
Pubs and restaurants will also open on an outdoor basis only – there will be no curfew and there will be no need for a substantial meal when buying alcohol.
Step Three – May 17
The third step will begin no earlier than May 17, and most restrictions on meeting outdoors will be lifted, subject to a limit of 30.
Families and friends will be able to meet indoors subject to the rule of six or meeting of two households.
Pubs and restaurants will open indoors as will cinemas, children’s play areas, hotels, hostels and B&Bs, theatres and concert halls will reopen their doors.
Sports stadia will also open subject in all cases to capacity limits depending on the size of the venue.
Larger events will be piloted using “enhanced testing” with an ambition of further easing of restrictions in the next step, said Mr Johnson.
Step 4 – June 21
This step will begin no earlier than June 21.
Boris Johnson says they will aim to remove all legal limits on social contact and on weddings and other life events.
They will look to reopen everything up to and including nightclubs and enable large events such as theatre performances above the limits of step three – potentially using testing to reduce the risk of infection.
When will life return to normal?
Mr Johnson said: “Our journey back towards normality will be subject to resolving a number of key questions and to do this we will conduct four reviews.
“One will assess how long we need to maintain social distancing and face masks. This will also inform guidance on working from home which should continue wherever possible until this review is complete.”
He added: “A second review will consider the resumption of international travel which is vital for many businesses which have been hardest hit including retail, hospitality, tourism and aviation.
“A successor to the global travel taskforce will report by April 12 so that people can plan for the summer.”
Boris Johnson added that the third review will “consider the potential role of Covid status certification in helping venues to open safely”.
He added: “And the fourth review will look at the safe return of major events.”