In the House of Commons this afternoon Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his long awaited plan to end restrictions and ease England out of lockdown.
As had been urged by many, the easing is cautious – allowing four weeks between each stage in order to analyse the data and ensure there is no huge resurgence in virus cases and hospitalisation numbers.
The PM did make it clear however that we will never be 100% Covid free – and that if there are spikes or a prevalence of variants immune to the vaccine then the suggested dates would have to be postponed.
Stage One – 8th March – Part A
All schools, colleges and Universities will reopen and pupils/students able to return to the classroom.
Secondary and college pupils will be subject to testing twice a week
Care home residents will be allowed one designated visitor tested and in full PPE to have unrestricted visits.
Additionally members of the public can meet one other person outside for a coffee and a chat and not just to exercise.
29th March – Part B
More easing of outdoor restrictions. Up to six people from any household (rule of six) or two households of any number will be able to meet out of doors including in private gardens.
Outdoor sport including tennis courts, golf and grassroots football will be able to open up.
Stage Two – 12th April
All non essential retail and personal care including beauty salons and hairdressers allowed to reopen .
Out door areas such as zoos and play parks can open. Libraries and museums will reopen,
Self contained accommodation can be booked, but only for individual families.
Hospitality areas outside such as Beer Gardens will also be allowed to open – where the Rule of Six will apply.
Indoor gyms & Leisure Centres will also be allowed to reopen
Stage Three – 17th May
Indoor hospitality including holiday lets, hotels, pubs and restaurants allowed to open with rule of six applying.
Outdoor restrictions eased further.
Up to 30 allowed at attend weddings , funerals and christenings
Performance venues and sports venues allowed to reopen with rule of six applying.
Stage Four – 21st June
All other restrictions eased.
A paper will be produced in April laying out what requirements might be needed in order to start booking overseas holidays/travel again.
Masks and one metre plus rule will be reviewed before stage four