• Fri. Mar 5th, 2021

Lockdown roadmap: Latest rules on pubs, gyms and hairdressers reopening


Feb 22, 2021

Boris Johnson said there are four steps to the easing of coronavirus restrictions (Picture: PA / Getty Images / AFP)

The prime minister has revealed England’s route to exiting the coronavirus lockdown in the House of Commons this afternoon.

Talking to MPs in Parliament, Boris Johnson announced the highly anticipated measures after analysing the latest coronavirus figures in the past week.

‘There is… no credible route to a zero-Covid Britain or indeed a zero-Covid world and we cannot persist indefinitely with restrictions that debilitate our economy, our physical and mental wellbeing and the life chances of our children,’ the PM said.

‘And that is why it is so crucial that this roadmap should be cautious but also irreversible.

‘We’re setting out on what I hope and believe is a one-way road to freedom and this journey is made possible by the pace of the vaccination programme.’

Mr Johnson added the easing of lockdown will be led by ‘data, not dates’, and stressed the lifting of measures will take place nationally, and not regionally as before.

He explained there are four steps to unlocking the country, but there will be five weeks between each stage to assess the impact it is having on infections.

Metro.co.uk outlines the four steps towards the unlocking of England below.

Boris Johnson leaves Downing Street for Parliament, holding the roadmap which will outline England’s exit from lockdown (Picture: Reuters)

A further televised press conference to the public describing how the plan will work will take place at 7pm this evening.

Step one – March 8

March 8 will see the first step of the easing of lockdown, with schools reopening and after-school sports and activities restarting outdoors. Pupils will be tested twice a week for Covid-19.

From this date people will also be allowed to have socially distanced one-on-one meetups with others outdoors in a public space – in a social aspect, such as for picnics and coffee, in addition to exercise.

As part of step one, more measures will be lifted from March 29 when the school holidays begin.

Outdoor gatherings will be allowed either under the reinstated ‘rule of six’, or between two households if the group is larger.

To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web
browser that
supports HTML5

Pupils will return to school on March 8, subject to regular testing (Picture: SWNS)
The ‘rule of six’ will be reinstated outdoors from the end of March (Picture: Getty Images)

Outdoor sports facilities, such as tennis and basketball courts and open-air swimming pools, will be able to reopen and ‘formally organised outdoor sports’ can resume.

From this point the ‘stay at home’ rule will be scrapped – but Mr Johnson stressed people should minimise travel as much as possible and work from home unless absolutely necessary.

Those who have been told to do so are also advised to shield until the end of March.

Step two – April 12

The PM warned step two will happen ‘no earlier’ than April 12, to make sure there is a gap of five weeks between the first and second stages.

Restaurants and pubs will be able to serve customers outdoors from April 12 – with no curfew or ‘substantial meal’ rule – and non-essential shops will also reopen from that date.

Hairdressers, barbers and personal beauty will also reopen as well as indoor leisure centres including gyms and swimming pools.

Hairdressers can finally reopen and beauty services can resume from April 12 (Picture: PA)
Gyms and sports centres will also be allowed to open their doors (Picture: PA)

Staycations will return, meaning holiday lets can reopen provided they are used by individuals or household groups only.

Zoos, theme parks and drive-in cinemas will reopen, as will public libraries and community centres.

Step three – May 17

Mr Johnson said ‘most restrictions on meeting outdoors will be lifted’ from May 17, provided the figures on cases, hospitalisations and deaths are under control.

There will be a limit of 30 people on outdoor gatherings.

People will be able to mix indoors again, subject to the ‘rule of six’, or two households if the group is larger than six.

Pubs, bars and restaurants will reopen indoors, along with cinemas, theatres and concert halls. Children’s play areas, hotels and hostels will also be able to open from that date.

See you back down the pub from May 17 (Picture: AFP via Getty Images)

Sports stadiums can reopen, subject to capacity limits, and larger-scale events will be piloted using enhanced testing.

Stage 4 – June 21

This is the final stage of the lifting of lockdown and Mr Johnson said the Government aims to ‘remove all legal limits on social contact’.

Weddings could take place at full capacity and nightclubs could reopen under this step, potentially using testing to reduce the risk of infection.

Live events, theatre performances and sports could be allowed with large numbers of people in the audience.

It is hoped the country will reach near-normality by July, when every adult is predicted to have been offered their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.

The prime minister told the Speaker: ‘I know there will be many people who will be worried that we are being too ambitious and that it is arrogant to impose any kind of plan upon a virus and I agree that we must always be humble in the face of nature and we must be cautious.

Remember clubbing? Well, it could be back on the cards in June (Picture: SWNS)
Weddings could be back to full capacity by the summer (Picture: Getty Images)

‘But I really also believe that the vaccination programme has dramatically changed the odds in our favour and it is on that basis that we can now proceed.

‘And of course there will be others who will believe that we could go faster on the basis of that vaccination programme.

‘And I understand their feelings and I sympathise very much with the exhaustion and the stress that people are experiencing and that businesses are experiencing after so long in lockdown.’

Chancellor Rishi Sunak will announce further support for the economy through the ending of lockdown in his Budget on March 3.

England must meet four key tests

But Mr Johnson warned the steps above – and therefore dates – are subject to the country’s Covid-19 figures, and could be adjusted if necessary.

The PM explained he, alongside scientists, will examine four key tests as each stage of measures are lifted. These are:

1. The success of the mass vaccination programme

2. The reduction of hospital admissions and deaths

3. The dropping off of infection rates

4. That there are no new Covid variants in the country are causing concern

To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web
browser that
supports HTML5

Looking further ahead

The prime minister outlined four reviews which are set to take place in the coming weeks.

The first is assess how long social distancing and the wearing of face masks is needed, and will also inform workers on when they can return to offices. At the moment the guidance is still to continue working from home.

A second review will look at when holidays abroad and international travel can safely resume.

He said the third will consider the use of ‘vaccine passports’ in helping venues to reopen – being mindful of privacy and discrimination concerns.

The fourth will look at the safe return of major events.

He added an updated plan for responding to local outbreaks will be published next month, with a range of measures included to address variants of concern.

Mr Johnson warned: ‘We can’t, I’m afraid, rule out re-imposing restrictions at local or regional level, if evidence suggests they are necessary to contain or suppress a new variant which escapes the vaccines.’

But he finished on a positive note: ‘I say that today, the end really is in sight, and a wretched year will give way to a spring and a summer that will be very different and incomparably better than the picture we see around us today.’

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].

For more stories like this, check our news page.

Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown

Boris Johnson has laid out his plans to lift Covid-19 restrictions in England, following weeks of lockdown which began on January 4.

The Prime Minister confirmed that the route back to normality will depend upon four tests for easing restrictions and will take into account the success of the vaccine rollout.

Source link

Read Also  Joe Biden and First Lady Jill pay respects as hero Capitol riot cop Brian Sicknick's body lies in state in Rotunda


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *