Life almost back to normal by 21 June in Boris Johnson's 'roadmap' to freedom

22 February 2021, 15:40 | Updated: 22 February 2021, 22:28

Pubs and restaurants to open from 12 April outside

By Kate Buck

Boris Johnson has announced his "roadmap" out of lockdown, which aims to get life in England back to as close to normal as possible by July.

The Prime Minister announced his four steps to get the nation moving again, after weeks of the third lockdown to tackle the spread of Covid-19.

Any and all relaxations will be conditional based on four tests, with the Government set to examine the data at each stage before unlocking further.

Ministers will assess the success of the vaccine rollout, evidence of vaccine efficacy, new variants and infection rates before proceeding to the next step.

Read more: Pubs and restaurants to open in mid-April under PM's plan to lift lockdown

Read more: Face masks become mandatory in secondary schools - and other new rules

Each step will be in place for at least five weeks before experts asses whether it is safe to proceed to the next one.

The Prime Minister told MPs the approach was "cautious but also irreversible", with the impact of the vaccination programme replacing the need for lockdown measures.

He said a "wretched year would give way to a spring and a summer that will be very different and incomparably better".

Boris Johnson has laid out his "roadmap" out of lockdown to the House of Commons
Boris Johnson has laid out his "roadmap" out of lockdown to the House of Commons. Picture: PA

Secondary school children will be told to wear face masks in schools corridors and classrooms, the PM said, in the first step, to further reduce any risk of spread.

Pubs and restaurants will be permitted to open outdoors no earlier than April 12, the same date hairdressers will also be allowed to open.

Indoor hospitality will be allowed to open no earlier than May 17.

International travel, which is almost completely banned at the moment, will not return any earlier than May 17.

What lockdown easing will look like:

Step 1
March 8

  • All schools to reopen
  • Outdoor school sports and activities allowed to resume
  • People allowed outdoors recreationally on a one-plus-one basis
  • Care home residents permitted one regular visitor and will be able to hold hands
  • Funerals to allow up to 30 people and weddings will allow 6

March 29

  • Up to six people or two households allowed in outdoor spaces
  • Outdoor sports facilities to reopen (eg Tennis, Basketball courts)
  • Organised adult or children's sports activities can return
  • Outdoor child and parent groups can return (up to 15 parents)
Schools will be reopening on March 8
Schools will be reopening on March 8. Picture: PA

PM says there's no credible route to a zero Covid world

Step 2 - after five weeks of Step 1, no earlier than April 12

  • Non-essential retail to open
  • Outdoor hospitality can reopen
  • Gyms and indoor leisure open for individual use
  • Hairdressers and personal care services can reopen
  • Outdoor attractions such as zoos, drive-thru cinemas and theme parks can reopen.
  • Driving lessons can reopen
  • Funeral wakes, weddings and receptions can have up to 15 people
Hairdressers and personal care services can reopen from April 12
Hairdressers and personal care services can reopen from April 12. Picture: PA

Theatres and cinemas will reopen on 17 May, says PM

Step 3 - after five weeks of Step 2, no earlier than May 17

  • Indoor hospitality, with no requirement for a substantial meal to be served alongside alcoholic drinks, and no curfew. The requirement to order, eat and drink while seated (‘table service’) will remain
  • 30 person limit outdoors - rule of six will apply indoors (subject to conditions)
  • International travel may be allowed (subject to conditions)
  • Remaining outdoor entertainment, such as outdoor theatres and cinemas can open
  • Indoor entertainment, such as museums, cinemas and children’s play area can open
  • Remaining accommodation, such as hotels, hostels and B&Bs will be allowed to operate
  • Adult indoor group sports and exercise classes
  • Some large events, including conferences, theatre and concert performances and sports events
  • Significant life events allowed up to 30 people

Step 4 - after at least five weeks of Step 3, no earlier than June 21

  • Remove all legal limits on social contact, allowing people to meet indoors
  • Nightclubs, theatres allowed to reopen (subject to conditions)
  • All limits on weddings and other life events removed