This afternoon, the 22nd of February 2021, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his plans for a 'roadmap' out of the current national lockdown imposed due to rising cases of Covid-19 and new variants discovered in the country.
Data not DatesBoris Johnson, Prime Minister
Johnson, the Prime Minister, reiterated that any easing of lockdown measures would be led by data and not dates, it takes four weeks for data to reflect any changes and he wishes to give the public one weeks notice of any relaxing of the rules - therefore there will be five weeks between each stage.
The following measures have been proposed and MPs will be given the chance to vote on these over the coming weeks. Restrictions will be eased step-by-step across the whole of England at the same time as opposed to a tier-system.
The below guideline applies only to England. Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland will set their own approaches. Mr Johnson described the four key tests that need to be achieved as the country progresses through the road map:
A brief overview is below, we'll publish more information once full guidance has been published.
8th March: Schools will reopen (with twice weekly testing for secondary school students) and two people will be allowed to meet outside for reasons other than exercise i.e a picnic or a coffee on a bench.
Care home residents will be allowed to have one regular visitor with whom they can hold hands provided the visitor has tested negative and wears PPE.
29th March: Outdoor gatherings of either six people or two households will be allowed. Outdoor sports including football, golf and tennis will be allowed to resume.
The national 'stay at home' order will be scrapped as the 'rule of six' returns. However this does not include socialising indoors where it remains permissible only with your own household or support bubble.
Despite the end of the 'stay at home' order people will still be advised to work from home where they can.
12th April: Non-essential retail, personal care sites and holiday lets for individual households can open. Restaurants and pubs able to reopen as outdoor venues only with no curfew or 'pie and pint' rule in place.
Zoos, theme parks and drive in cinemas can reopen.
17th May: Most outdoor restrictions will be lifted with no rule of six in place. However gatherings of more than 30 people will still be illegal.
Indoor mixing to be allowed with rule of six or two households.
Pubs and Restaurants can open for indoor service with the same restrictions on the rule of six.
Cinemas, children's play centres, hotels, hostels, B&Bs and sports stadiums can reopen.
21st June: All legal limits on social contact to be lifted.
Night clubs are permitted to open and large events can occur again.
Although the Prime Minister can't rule out having to impose local or national restrictions should the data show they are needed he stated that he believed we are now on the one way road to freedom.