Roadmap for easing of restrictions in England announced

25, February 2021

Each of the steps below are subject to meeting the following four tests:

  • The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully.
  • Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective.
  • Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations.
  • Assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new variants.

Step 1 – from 29 March

People will no longer be legally required to stay at home, but should continue to work from home where possible, and stay local minimising travel. The “rule of six” returns for outdoors, and outdoor sports and leisure facilities can reopen.

Step 2 – from 12 April at the earliest

Domestic overnight stays will be allowed by those in the same household and in self-contained accommodation (i.e. no shared bathing, entry/exit, catering or sleeping facilities) for members of the same household only.

Non-essential retail can reopen, such as leisure vehicle dealerships, workshops and holiday park showrooms, along with indoor leisure facilities such as gyms/spas (excluding saunas/steam rooms).

Hospitality venues can open for outdoor service, without any curfew or the requirement for alcohol only with a substantial meal.  Customers must order, eat and drink while seated.

Most outdoor settings and attractions including outdoor hospitality, theme parks, drive-in cinemas/performances will reopen.

This will be accompanied by mitigations including workforce testing and continued social distancing guidance. People should continue to work from home where they can. International holidays will still be prohibited.

 Step 3 – from 17 May at the earliest and at least five weeks after Step 2

Most legal restrictions on meeting others outdoors will be lifted, but gatherings of more than 30 people outdoors will remain illegal. Sectors which will reopen include:

•             Indoor hospitality (again now without the substantial meal requirement alongside alcoholic drinks, and without a curfew). The requirement for table service will remain.

•             Remaining outdoor entertainment, such as outdoor theatres and cinemas

•             Indoor entertainment, such as children’s play areas

•             Remaining accommodation, such as hotels and hostels and B&Bs open for domestic overnight stays.

Step 4 – from 21 June at the earliest, and at least five weeks after Step 3

By Step 4, the Government aims to remove all legal limits on social contact, reopen the remaining closed settings, including nightclubs, and enable large events.

In parallel to these steps, four formal reviews will also take place on the issues social distancing and face masks, the resumption of international travel and COVID status certification to enable reopening of businesses.

See more details and link to Government’s guidance here.

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