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Roadmap out of lockdown 3: When and how Covid-19 restrictions will be lifted in the UK
5 February 2021, 16:18 | Updated: 15 February 2021, 11:00
Boris Johnson confirmed a lockdown review date for England with the hope of coronavirus restrictions being lifted in the UK - from the reopening of schools to mixing outdoors, here's a possible roadmap out of lockdown.
Lockdown 3 started in England on January 5 and now, as the vaccine rollout programme continues to immunise the most vulnerable, and the Covid R rate drops to below one - the lifting of lockdown restrictions seems possible.
In his most recent announcement, Boris Johnson confirmed the week commencing 22 February he will be making a lockdown review and will also set out a ‘roadmap’ for ending the strict coronavirus restrictions currently in place.
Starting with the reopening of schools in England, the government - who are reportedly looking at the lifting of lockdown measures as the Covid cases continue to fall - have said they will begin a plan to help England return to some normality which could include outdoor gatherings.
With the coronavirus vaccines doing their job to hopefully bring the lockdown to an end, and travel restrictions like quarantine hotels being put in place, a steady reopening of pubs, non-essential shops and gyms seems possible.
Related article: What are the coronavirus vaccines and how do they compare?
So, how will lockdown restrictions be lifted? What’s the government’s roadmap out? Here’s what we know so far:
When is the end of lockdown 3 and what is the government’s roadmap out?
At the moment, there is no official date or plan for the end of lockdown.
It’s believed lockdown restrictions will be eased very gradually to avoid the possibility of another coronavirus wave.
Boris Johnson confirmed the week commencing February 22 was when England would start to see a plan for ‘roadmap’ out of all the strict rules and restrictions in place.
It's recently been reported ministers are discussing plans to allow some shops to re-open, families to meet again and self-catering staycations to be allowed if Covid-19 infection rates continue to fall.
When will schools reopen in England?
The first stop on the roadmap out of lockdown in England is the reopening of schools which has been given a preliminary date of 8th March.
Boris Johnson said: "The date of 8 March is the earliest that we think it is sensible to set for schools to go back and obviously we hope that all schools will go back.
"I'm hopeful, but that's the earliest that we can do it and it depends on lots of things going right, and... it also depends on us all now continuing to work together to drive down the incidence of the disease through the basic methods we've used throughout this pandemic."
What lockdown restrictions will Boris Johnson lift next?
It’s unclear what the government will do next to help ease England out of lockdown but there are reports of potentially allowing outdoor gatherings and sport again.
“Tentative" plans are reportedly being drawn up by ministers which would allow certain outdoor sports such as golf and tennis, and limited social gatherings.
These will reportedly come weeks after the planned reopening of schools from 8 March, according to The Times.
Other reports suggest allowing families to meet outdoors, pubs opening outdoor areas and the possibility of staycations over summer.