What are the four tests for the roadmap out of lockdown?

22 February 2021, 15:11 | Updated: 22 February 2021, 17:15

Boris Johnson has confirmed four tests for lifting each stage of the lockdown restrictions
Boris Johnson has confirmed four tests for lifting each stage of the lockdown restrictions. Picture: PA

By Zoe Adams

Boris Johnson has confirmed there are four tests England must pass before they continue to ease the coronavirus restrictions and get out of lockdown - but what are they?

The Prime Minister has put in place an official roadmap out of the coronavirus lockdown following strict measures put in place in January 2021.

Ahead of his first announcement on 22 February, it’s expected he will confirm the reopening of schools and then the re-introduction of the ‘rule of six’ outdoors for late March.

However, with a “cautious” approach to easing the rules this time around, the question around when pubs, restaurants, gyms and non-essential shops will reopen remain unanswered as Boris Johnson confirmed four tests must be met before any other restrictions are lifted.

Related article: When are non-essential shops likely to reopen following lockdown?

At present, the PM has said the four tests are going in the right direction meaning schools can reopen but there will be a waiting period between each review before further coronavirus rules are removed.

So what are the four tests for the roadmap out of lockdown? How long between each roadmap review? Here's the latest information:

Boris Johnson says more restrictions can be lifted if the vaccine continues to be a success
Boris Johnson says more restrictions can be lifted if the vaccine continues to be a success. Picture: PA

What are the four tests for the roadmap out of lockdown?

Boris Johnson has confirmed for each restriction to be lifted, four tests must be passed in England. They are:

  • The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully
  • Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
  • Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
  • The assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new variants of concern.

Downing Street said the tests are currently being met leading to the first relaxation on 8 March with schools reopening and then on 29 March, the Rule of Six for outdoor interaction being allowed also.

The coronavirus vaccine is a vital part of the four tests for the roadmap out of lockdown
The coronavirus vaccine is a vital part of the four tests for the roadmap out of lockdown. Picture: PA

How long will there be in-between each restriction being lifted?

Following his very cautious approach, the gap between each stage of restrictions being lifted is expected to be around five weeks.

This means shops, gyms, pubs and hairdressers can expect at least another month of closures.