Prime Minister announces roadmap to lift lockdown in England

Today, the Prime Minister announced his plans to begin to lift the current lockdown in England. Mr Johnson reiterated that data will be used to inform every step of lifting restrictions, and that this approach is cautious to ensure that no progress is undone. There will be four new tests to determine when and if lockdown can be further eased for other parts of the economy. These include:

  • The continued successful deployment of the vaccine programme, with the PM now stating that he aims for all adults to receive their first vaccine by July
  • Evidence that the vaccines are reducing hospital admissions and death-rate
  • Overall infection rate must be low enough not to risk a surge in hospital admissions due to further reopenings and relaxations of restrictions
  • Evidence that any new variants of the virus will not significantly impact infection and hospitalisation rates

Please see key points & dates from the announcement below:

Monday 8 March

  • All schools will open with outdoor after-school sports and activities allowed with twice weekly testing for certain age groups
  • Outdoor recreation in a public space will be allowed between two people, meaning they would be allowed to sit down for a coffee or picnic

Monday 29 March

  • The rule of six will return for outdoor gatherings in both public and private outdoor spaces
  • Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis courts, basketball courts and golf courses will reopen and organised sport will also return

The earliest further relaxation of restrictions will occur five weeks later from Monday 12 April and any changes will be announced seven days in advance. These further relaxations are subject to the four part test and may be delayed.

Monday 12 April 

  • Non-essential retail, gyms, salons and hairdressers may be allowed to open with social distancing and social contact limitations in place
  • Holiday lets will be allowed to open
  • Hospitality venues such as pubs and restaurants will be able to open outdoors without curfew or alcohol limitations

Five weeks later on Monday 17 May, subject to the four part test, the following further restrictions will be lifted:

Monday 17 May

  • Most restrictions lifted in outdoor spaces, with gatherings of up to 30 people allowed
  • Rule of six is extended indoors
  • Pubs, restaurants and hospitality venues will open indoors
  • Hotels, theatres, concert halls and sports stadiums will be allowed to open subject to capacity limits

Monday 21 June

The Prime Minister hopes to remove all legal limits on social contact, including large events such as weddings on Monday 21 June. All businesses will be able to operate at normal capacity including nightclubs and theatres.

In response to the announcement, Chief Executive Jace Tyrrell, said: “Today’s announcement promotes a careful and considered reopening that avoids businesses having to close their doors once again, so we fully support a reopening plan that is incremental, but irreversible. While it is understandable that leisure businesses will reopen at a slower rate than non-essential shops, the West End – as with the thousands of high streets across the UK – is a carefully managed ecosystem of retail and leisure, so we must help restaurants, bars, cafés and pubs weather the health and economic impact of the pandemic.”

“Along with reopening, It is imperative that the Government maintains continued financial support. With the budget in a matter of days, we look to the Chancellor to continue providing vital working capital by continuing the current business rates relief until fundamental reform can be achieved. We also urge the Treasury to introduce relief for empty properties to incentivise investment and encourage a new mix of businesses to open as part of Britain’s recovery.”

Mon 22 February 2021