Due to the overwhelming success of our vaccine rollout and the commitment and sacrifices made by all of us to reduce the spread of Covid-19 and save lives, the Prime Minister has set out our Roadmap Out of Lockdown. Here's a summary:
The decision to move onto each next step of easing restrictions will be guided by the data, not dates, and there will be a minimum of five weeks between each step (four weeks for the scientific data to reflect changes in restrictions). There will be four tests to meet when deciding to ease the next set of restrictions:
(1) The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully;
(2) Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated;
(3) Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations, putting unsustainable pressure on the NHS;
(4) Our assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern.
From 8 March, all children and students will return safely to schools and colleges. People will also be allowed to leave home for recreation with their household or support bubble. Care home residents will be allowed one regular visitor.
From 29 March, outdoor gatherings (including private gardens) of either 6 people or 2 households will be allowed. Outdoor sports facilities will be able to reopen.
From 12 April, non-essential shops, personal care premises (such as hairdressers and nail salons), public buildings (such as libraries), and indoor leisure facilities can reopen. Most outdoor attractions (such as zoos and theme parks) will be permitted to reopen. Hospitality venues will be allowed to serve people outdoors, and the number of people allowed to attend weddings and commemorative events will rise to 15.
From 17 May, most restrictions on meeting others outdoors will be lifted (however gatherings of over 30 people will remain illegal). Meeting up to 6 people or 2 households indoors will be permitted. Advice on social distancing between friends and family will be updated. Indoor hospitality and indoor entertainment venues will be permitted to reopen, and some larger outdoor performances will be allowed. Finally, up to 30 people will be able to attend weddings, receptions and wakes, as well as funerals.
From 21 June, the Government hopes to be in a position to remove all legal limits on social contact. The Government also hopes to reopen all remaining premises, including nightclubs, and ease restrictions on large events and performances.
This roadmap out of lockdown is our gateway to a future that is more familiar. However, it depends on all of us continuing to play our part and following the current guidance.
For more information on this announcement, click here.