Harlow’s route out of lockdown. Month-by-month – when hairdressers and pubs may reopen
Lifestyle / Mon 22nd Feb 2021 at 07:58am
THE PRIME Minister, Boris Johnson is set to reveal his “roadmap” for easing lockdown rules in the hope of driving Britain towards a summer of freedom.
The Prime Minister will set out his four-test plan for loosening restrictions tomorrow afternoon after it was approved by Cabinet today.
Initially it is understood England’s schools will all be re-opened on March 8 and two people will be allowed to meet for recreation including a coffee or a picnic in outdoor public spaces.
The “rule of six” is expected to be reintroduced for outdoor gatherings from March 29. Outdoor sports facilities are expected to be allowed to open that day, and organised outdoor sport will be permitted to return.
In April, it is hoped that domestic self-catering holidays will be allowed and that gyms, hairdressers, and non-essential shops will be able to open.
Mr Johnson’s “roadmap” will include four tests which must all be met before the next step can go ahead.
The plan will be rolled out across the country at the same time with no return to regional tiers.
Mr Johnson is expected to announce the plan in the House of Commons.
Step one comes in two parts. The first is expected to focus on education and gradual increases in social contact. It’s understood the Government wanted to start there to reflect the fact that the pandemic has been “especially hard on children” and on “people unable to see friends, family or loved ones.
All schools in England are expected to open from March 8, with outdoors Mr Johnson’s “roadmap” will include four tests which must all be met before the next step can go ahead.after school activities also expected to restart.
Also on March 8, two people will be allowed to meet up in outdoor spaces such as parks for recreation. They’ll be allowed to sit down for a coffee, drink or picnic.
The second step, planned for March 29 to coincide with school holidays, will see the return of the ‘rule of six’ in outdoor public spaces. That means up to six people from up to six households, or any number of people from two households will be allowed to meet up outdoors.
Also on March 29, outdoor sports facilities such as tennis or basketball courts will reopen. And organised adult and children’s sport, including grassroots football can also return.
Assuming the four tests are met, nonessential retail could reopen during April. Universities and college campuses could return.
And domestic holidays could be allowed – but limited to self-catering.
It’s been reported that pubs, restaurants and other venues could reopen outdoor areas by the end of the month.
If the tests continue to be met, hairdressers could be back by early May.
Beauticians and ‘close contact’ treatments are likely to follow, with strict Covid-safety rules in place.
By mid-May, it’s been reported pubs could allow customers indoors – and the 10pm curfew and ‘substantial meal’ restrictions aren’t expected to return.
Weddings may be allowed to take place again as soon as June, if the tests are met for each stage of reopening.
Some indoor mixing of households may also be possible.
The entire adult population is expected to have been offered vaccinations by the end of July.
This could mean rules on indoor mixing – including social distancing rules – could be relaxed further.
But it’s unlikely the government will set a date for the relaxation of rules on international travel.
For each step to be unlocked, the PM has set four tests.
1) That the vaccine deployment programme continues successfully
2) That evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
3) That infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
4) That the government’s assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern