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Friday, 26 February, 2021

The road map out of lockdown is revealed by Boris

Boris Johnson has announced a “roadmap” for easing Covid restrictions in England. What will the first steps be?

The unlocking will be done in stages with each phase coming no earlier than:

8 March

  • All schools and colleges will reopen
  • University students can return for practical courses. There will be a review by the end of the Easter holidays for all other students
  • Face coverings are recommended for older students, but also for parents and staff in primary school
  • Wraparound childcare can also return for vulnerable pupils and where it is needed for parents or carers to go to work, support groups or seek medical care
  • People can meet one other person outside for recreation, which can include “a coffee on a bench”
  • A “broader range” of campaigning can continue from this date in light of elections on May
  • One nominated person can visit care homes, but will need PPE, a lateral flow test and to “keep physical contact to a minimum”
  • Holidays still not permitted and outbound passengers will be legally obliged to provide their reason for travel
  • Weddings attended by up to six people can take place in any circumstances

29 March

  • People will be allowed to meet outside either with one other household or within the “rule of six”, including in private gardens
  • Stay at home rule is dropped but people should still minimise movement as much as possible
  • People will still be urged to work from home
  • Outdoor sport facilities will reopen, including tennis and basketball courts
  • Formally organised outdoor sports can also restart
  • Parents and children groups can return but are capped at 15 and must be outdoors. Indoor groups can take place for vulnerable children and where parents need the groups to go to work

No earlier than 12 April:

  • All retail allowed to open
  • Restaurants and pub gardens will be allowed to serve customers sitting outdoors
  • Gyms can reopen for individuals and household groups
  • “Personal care premises” (hairdressers) can reopen
  • UK “staycations” away from home permitted, with self-contained accommodation able to reopen for use by members of the same household
  • Children allowed to attend indoor play activities, with up to 15 parents or guardians allowed to join them
  • Zoos, theme parks and drive-in cinemas can reopen
  • Libraries and community centres can reopen
  • Weddings attended by up to 15 people can take place

No earlier than 17 May:

  • People can meet in groups of up to 30 outdoors
  • Six people or two households can meet indoors
  • Pubs and restaurants can reopen
  • Up to 30 people can meet to celebrate weddings or other life events like christenings
  • Remaining outdoor entertainment, such as outdoor theatres and cinemas can open
  • Indoor entertainment such as museums, cinemas and children’s play areas can open
  • Hotels, hostels and B&Bs can reopen
  • Performances and large events can resume, with some limits. For indoor events they can be at half capacity or 1,000 people, and outdoors they can be at half capacity or 4,000 people – whichever is lower. For large venues (at least 40,000 capacity) up to 10,000 will be allowed to attend
  • International travel will resume no earlier than 17 May

No earlier than 21 June:

  • All legal limits on social contact will be removed
  • No legal limits on the number of people who can attend weddings, funerals and other life events
  • Nightclubs and theatres will be allowed to reopen

What are the four tests for easing restrictions?

The gap between each stage of restrictions being eased is expected to be five weeks.

Four conditions must be met at each stage before proceeding to the next one:

  • The coronavirus vaccine programme continues to go to plan
  • 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 coronavirus variants do not fundamentally change the risk of lifting restrictions

Source: From the BBC

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