• Sat. Feb 27th, 2021

What will be in Boris Johnson’s routemap out of lockdown?


Feb 22, 2021

Boris Johnson will reveal his plan for easing lockdown today (Picture: PA/ EPA/ Splash)

After weeks of lockdown, Boris Johnson’s plan for lifting strict Covid-19 restrictions in England is due to be revealed today.

Speculation has been rife over what steps the Government will take to steer England out of its current coronavirus restrictions.

As part of the routemap out of lockdown, it is understood that all schools will reopen from March 8, with outdoor sports and activities also restarting then.

The Prime Minister said his plan will contain four tests for easing restrictions and will take into account the success of the vaccine rollout.

Here, Metro.co.uk takes a look at what is expected from today’s announcement:

What time is Boris Johnson’s announcement?

After spending the past week looking at data on coronavirus deaths, cases, hospital admissions and the vaccine rollout, Mr Johnson will convene a virtual meeting of his Cabinet on Monday morning to discuss the road map plan.

Later in the afternoon the Prime Minister will make a statement to Parliament, exzoected at 3.30pm, before hosting a televised press conference at 7pm.

Boris Johnson will host a press conference at 7pm (Picture: Getty Images)

The road map will be published on the Government’s website.

Ministers have emphasised that the Government is taking a cautious approach to easing restrictions. Changes are expected to be rolled out in four steps.

What will reopen first?

The Government has previously said it would be prioritising the reopening of schools, with March 8 the target date for the return of pupils.

It is understood that as an initial part of the first step of easing restrictions all schools will be open from this date, while outdoors after school sports and activities can also restart.

Schools are all expected to be allowed to return next month (Picture: PA)

When will we be able to meet friends and family again?

It is also understood that, from March 8, people will be allowed to have socially distanced one-on-one meetups with others outdoors in a public space.

This means friends and family members could sit down for a coffee or have a picnic in the park, something not currently allowed under lockdown.

From March 29 more social contact is expected to be permitted, with outdoor gatherings allowed either under the rule of six or between two households.

This means groups of a maximum of six people from multiple households can get together outside, with a greater number allowed if the meetup is between two households only.

The rule change is understood to be timed to coincide with the start of school holidays and to allow friends and families greater flexibility to meet outside where the risk of Covid transmission is lower.

When will outdoor sports facilities reopen?

From March 29 it is understood that outdoor sports facilities, for example tennis or basketball courts, will reopen.

There is also expected to be a return of organised adult and children’s sport, such as grassroots football.

When will pubs, hairdressers and shops reopen?

The longer-term picture of the Government’s plans is as yet unclear.

Previous speculation placed non-essential shops alongside outdoor recreation and socialising as the next areas targeted for easing after schools.

Various reports also suggested hospitality could return at some point between the Easter weekend and May, with an initial focus on outdoor provision.

Elsewhere, it was claimed ministers were looking at plans for people who live in the same household to be allowed to go on holiday breaks together from April.

It has also been suggested that hairdressers and beauty salons could open in May under a ‘cautious’ routemap out of lockdown.

More details may yet be revealed by the Prime Minister on Monday, while much will depend on the success of the vaccine rollout and the Government’s ongoing assessment of Covid-related data.

How is the Government reaching its decisions?

The Prime Minister said his road map will contain four tests for easing restrictions.

The Government will take into account the success of the vaccines rollout, whether there is evidence they are reducing hospital admissions and deaths, the level of infection rates and the presence of any new Covid variants.

Such data will be examined ahead of each step along the road map before measures are unlocked any further.

For more stories like this, check out our news page.

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