Boris Johnson has outlined the four steps that will complete England’s roadmap out of lockdown, with schools the first to reopen fully. The timing for each step will depend on various data - including the success of the vaccine rollout and hospitalisation figures - but caution is the key to the government’s approach. England’s route out of lockdown will be relatively slower than the reopening last June, with weeks between each step, and all dates are subject to change. Here is when we can expect to be back in shops, pubs and hairdressers, if all goes to plan.All dates given are the earliest possible and are still subject to change. The government has emphasised the approach will be driven by "data, not dates."
How are restrictions going to be eased?
The changes will be rolled out in four stages, with schools in the first stage and indoor hospitality in the last. Before each new step the government will look at the Covid-related data to assess what impact the relaxing of measures has had so far.Mr Johnson said the government will be “cautious” in its approach.
Politics Editor Robert Peston and Health Editor Emily Morgan give their takes on the roadmap
What conditions must be met? The PM said his road map will contain four tests for easing restrictions at each stage. These are the 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 that would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
The assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new variants of concern.
This is the data will be used to determine whether the next stage of restrictions should be lifted. Are we meeting those tests? The government has said the four tests are currently being met. When will schools open fully? All pupils in all year groups in England can go back to the classroom from March 8, with outdoor after-school sports and activities also allowed to restart. Secondary school pupils will need to wear masks both in corridors and in the classroom.
This differs from the approach in Scotland and Wales, where a staggered return to school is preferred.
ITV News Political Editor Robert Peston gives a rundown of the roadmap out of lockdown
When can I meet my friends and family? From March 8, one-on-one meetings in outdoor, public spaces will be allowed – so you could meet a friend from another household in the park for a coffee, for example. Care home residents will also be allowed one visitor from this date. Three weeks later, on March 29, the rule of six will return and the stay at home order will end, though government messaging will encourage people to stay local. This means groups of six – each from a different household – can meet in a public, outdoor space. Two separate households will also be allowed to gather together.No earlier than June 21, all social contact limits will be lifted, meaning family reunions and larger social gatherings will finally be allowed.
Will I be able to play team sports again soon? Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts will reopen from March 29. This means organised adult and children’s sport – including grassroots football – can return.
When will non-essential retail open? The earliest date given for non-essential retail is April 12.
This will include libraries and museum, while outdoor venues like zoos and theme parks will also reopen.
What about pubs and restaurants?
The date to look for when it comes to pubs and restaurants is April 12, but this will be for outdoor seating only at this stage.There will be no substantial meal requirement for alcohol orders and the rule of six will still apply.In terms of opening hours, no curfews will be set.Indoor seating will open after May 17, with the rule of six restrictions still in place. After this date, there will be no limits to the number socialising outdoors.
When can I get a haircut? Personal care will reopen on April 12 at the earliest.
What about weddings and funerals?
All legal limits on life events will be removed no earlier than June 21.
Do we know when society can return to some of normal?
All limits on social contact will be removed after June 21.
On this day - if all goes well - nightclubs will reopen, as will large events and anything else that did not open after the first lockdown.
Is a foreign holiday going to be possible?The Global Travel Taskforce will report on April 12 with recommendations aimed at facilitating a return to international travel as soon as possible. Following that, the Government will determine when international travel should resume, which will be no earlier than 17 May.
Overnight stays will be allowed after April 12, which means staycations could be possible by the middle of April.