Yesterday (22 Feb) the Prime Minister has delivered a statement to the Commons, detailing plans to lift the lockdown in England. A short summary of the statement is below.
The Government has also now published the roadmap which can be viewed here.
The roadmap outlines four steps for easing restrictions. Before proceeding to the next step, the Government will examine the data to assess the impact of the previous step.
This assessment will be based on four tests:
- The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully.
- Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated.
- Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS.
- Our assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern.
8th March: All schools will go back with twice weekly testing of secondary school pupils; after school clubs can restart; people can meet one other person in public spaces for outdoor recreation in addition to exercise. Advising clinically vulnerable to remain at home until end of March.
Each care home resident will be able to nominate a named visitor who can see them regularly, subject to testing.
Amend regulations to enable a broader range of COVID secure campaign regulations for elections in May
29th March: Rule of 6 will return outdoors, including in private gardens; two households of any size will also be allowed to meet up outside; outdoor sports facilities will reopen; formally organised sport will return. People will no longer be required to stay at home, but people should still work from home where possible.
Step 2 will begin no earlier than 12th April with an announcement at least 7 days before they come in. This and subsequent steps could be delayed based on data.
Non-essential retail will reopen; personal care including hairdressers and nail saloons; indoor leisure facilities such as gyms will reopen as will holiday lets but only to be used by individuals or family groups.
Pubs and restaurants will begin to open outdoors; and there will be no curfew, or requirement to have substantial meals.
Zoos, theme parks and drive in cinemas will reopen as will libraries and community centres.
Step 3 will begin no earlier than 17th May
Most restrictions on meeting outdoors will be lifted, subject to a limit of 30
This is the point people will be able to see family and friends indoors subject to the rule of 6 or meeting of two households
Pubs and restaurants will be reopened indoors, as well as cinemas and children’s play areas, hostels, hotels, B&Bs. Theatres and concert halls will reopen, and sports stadiums will reopen subject to capacity limits
Larger events will be piloted using enhanced testing
Step 4 will begin no earlier than the 24th June
Aim will be to remove all legal limits on social contact and on weddings and other life events
This will see the reopening of everything including night clubs and allow large events including theatre performances above the limits of step 3 potentially using testing
Govt will conduct 4 reviews
- Will review how long there will be a need to maintain social distancing and facemasks. This will also include guidance on working from home which should continue where possible until this review is complete. Will be critical in also assessing when Parliament can return as normal.
- A review on international travel. A taskforce will report by 12th April so that people can plan for the summer.
- This will consider Covid status certification in order to enable venues to reopen safely
- This will look at the return of major events
The Government will extend the provision of free test kits for workplaces until the end of June, and will publish a plan next month to respond to local outbreaks.