THE key dates for when every single lockdown restriction could be lifted have been announced – with all restrictions potentially coming to an end by Summer.
Boris Johnson has officially unveiled his roadmap for how the country will come out of the third national lockdown – as the tier-system is scrapped.
This afternoon he revealed when each set of restrictions would be lifted as the key dates in his roadmap have been published.
The PM’s roadmap will be completed in four stages based on the likes of vaccine rollout, NHS hospitalisations, deaths and the emerging of new variants.
The roadmap comes as the country has been under national restrictions since January 6, while the North-East was already under national-style restrictions weeks before.
But we’ve listed all the key dates and when exactly you can expect to see each restriction lifted.
STEP 1: March 8
From March 8, all schools will be expected to reopen to pupils across England with a wider use of face masks and testing in Secondary settings.
Socialising in parks and public spaces with one other person from another household will also be permitted from that date.
It means people will be allowed to have socially distanced one-to-one meetings with others outdoors in a public space, for example to have a coffee or picnic in the park.
Care home residents will be allowed a single visitor, with visitors required to take a lateral flow test and wear personal protective equipment.
Second phase of step 1
In the second part of the step 1, larger groups could be allowed to gather in parks and gardens from March 29 – when the “stay at home” order will end, with messaging moving to “stay local”.
The “rule of six” will return, meaning up to six people or two households will be able to meet outdoors.
Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts are also set to reopen at the end of next month, with organised adult and children’s sport – including grassroots football – able to return.
STEP 2: April 12
From April 12 at the earliest, all non-essential retail, hairdressers, nail salons, libraries, outdoor attractions and outdoor hospitality venues such as beer gardens will reopen.
Indoor gyms and leisure facilities, such as swimming pools, will be permitted to reopen, but the requirements for social contact in indoor settings will continue.
This means people will only be permitted to visit a museum or exercise in a gym alone or with their own household.
For hospitality venues restaurants and pubs will only be able to serve customers outside, where the rule of six or two households will apply.
The requirement for a substantial meal and curfews will both be scrapped, but customers will need to be seated when ordering food or drink.
Self-contained accommodation, such as campsites and holiday lets, where indoor facilities are not shared with other households, will also be able to reopen for overnight stays by households only.
Funerals will be able to continue with up to 30 people, while the number of people who can attend wedding receptions and wakes will rise from the current six to 15.
STEP 3: May 17
From May 17 at the earliest, two households or groups of up to six people will be allowed to mix indoors and crowds of up to 10,000 in the largest venues will be allowed at performances and sporting events.
Indoor hospitality – inside pubs and restaurants – is set to open up at this point, where the rule of six or two household rule will apply, alongside entertainment venues such as cinemas and children’s play areas.
Larger performances and sporting events in indoor venues, with a capacity of 1,000 people or half-full, whichever is lower, will be allowed, while outdoors it will be 4,000 people or half-full, again whichever is lower.
International travel rules will also be reviewed on this date, with May 17 targeted as the earliest possible date for a foreign holiday.
Up to 30 people will be able to attend weddings, receptions and wakes, as well as funerals, and other life events will be permitted, such as bar mitzvahs and christenings.
STEP 4: June 21
From June 21 at the earliest, all remaining restrictions on social contact could be lifted, larger events can go ahead and nightclubs could finally reopen.
A further piece of work to conclude by this date and will examine social distancing requirements, the use of face masks and requirements to work from home.
By this point all restrictions imposed during the introduction of the third lockdown will be lifted.
The PM has advised that four conditions must be met at each phase of lockdown easing in order to progress to the next step.
– The coronavirus vaccine programme continues to go to plan
– Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently reducing the number of people dying with the virus or needing hospital treatment
– Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospital admissions
– New variants of the virus do not fundamentally change the risk of lifting restrictions