Added on: 22nd February, 2021 by O1
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has today set out a lockdown exit plan for England.
The new four-step plan to ease lockdown could see shops, hairdressers, gyms and outdoor hospitality reopen on 12th April, and all legal limits on social contact lifted by 21st June.
It requires four tests on vaccines, infection rates and new coronavirus variants to be met at each stage.
The four conditions that must be met at each phase of lockdown easing are:
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
From 8 March:
All schools will open with outdoor after-school sports and activities allowed.
Recreation in an outdoor public spaces - such as a park - will be allowed between two people, meaning they would be allowed to sit down for a coffee, drink or picnic
From 29 March:
Outdoor gatherings of either six people or two households will be allowed. It is understood this will include gatherings in private gardens.
Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis or basketball courts will reopen and organised adult and children's sport, such as grassroots football, will also return
Secondary school pupils will be required to wear face coverings in classrooms and shared spaces like corridors.
From 12th April, major parts of the economy may be permitted to reopen:
Non-essential retail opens, hairdressers and public buildings like libraries and museums.
Outdoor settings like alcohol takeaways, beer gardens, zoos and theme parks
Indoor leisure like swimming pools and gyms
Self-contained holiday accommodation, such as self-catering and camp sites
However, wider social contact rules will continue to apply in all settings - meaning no indoor mixing between different households will be allowed.
The Prime Minister confirmed the end of hospitality curfews - and the scrapping of requirements to eat a substantial meal alongside alcohol.
Funerals continue with up to 30 people, and weddings with up to 15 guests.
From 17th May - if the data allows - the "rule of six" may be abolished for outdoor gatherings and replaced with a limit of 30 people:
Two households can mix indoors - with the rule of six applied in hospitality settings like pubs
Cinemas, hotels, performances and sporting events reopen - though social distancing remains
Up to 10,000 spectators can attend the very largest outdoor seated venues like football stadiums
Up to 30 people will be able to attend weddings, receptions, funerals and wakes.
21st June could see all legal limits on social contact removed, with the final closed sectors of the economy reopened - such as nightclubs.
The government hopes that - from this date - restrictions on weddings and funerals will also be abolished.