Johnson said his ‘roadmap’ was intended to be “cautious but also irreversible” and he hoped all restrictions could be lifted by 21 June. The plan includes four stages, the first of which is tied to two specific dates in March. The following stages, he said, would be reliant upon four tests.
What are the four tests for getting out of lockdown?
The vaccine programme continues to go to plan
Those vaccines successfully reduce deaths and hospitalisations
Infection rates do not threaten the NHS by causing a surge in hospitalisations
The government’s risk assessment is not fundamentally changed by new “variants of concern”
Fingers crossed! Seriously, all of Flounder’s fingers are crossed.
Of course, we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves. Johnson and his government have messed up at every turn, from the catastrophic (and ongoing) debacle over Test and Trace, to Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s “unlawful” failure to disclose details of the contracts his department had given out during the pandemic.
But it’s also possible that this latest announcement is actually (whisper it) good news. So without further ado, here’s a handy guide to all four stages and what they might mean for you.
Stage One is really two stages, one beginning on March 8 and the other on March 29.
From March 8:
All schools and colleges will reopen, with face masks recommended for secondary school students and for parents and staff at primary schools
University students studying practical courses will return, while there will be a review at the end of Easter for all other students
We will still be encouraged to ‘stay at home’ but two people from different households can meet outside for recreation – like coffee on a bench, or a picnic
One nominated person can visit care homes but only with PPE, a lateral flow test and a minimal amount of physical contact
Bear in mind, that’s only England. The roadmap might vary in different parts of the UK.
When will lockdown end in Scotland?
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced her own roadmap for lifting restrictions in Scotland on 23 February.
Two people from two households will be allowed to meet outdoors from 15 March, before lifting the stay at home rule on 5 April. This “progressive easing” will lead up to wider reopenings across non essential retail, hospitality, gyms and hairdressers.
When will lockdown end in Wales?
Currently four people from two households can meet outdoors for exercise in Wales, while the government is due to review lockdown rules around 12 March. First Minister Mark Drakeford has suggested non-essential retail could begin to reopen from 15 March, but he has so far not given any dates for hospitality or gyms reopening.