All legal limits on social contact could end by 21 June under plans to lift lockdown

By Jamie Hill - 22 February 2021

CommunityPolitics

Reporting in the House of Commons, Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out a plan to lift lockdown over the next few months.

The Prime Minister revealed the four step lockdown lifting plan for England to Parliament before a televised press conference at 7pm this evening.

Step one -

8 March -  Schools and colleges to reopen. Secondary school students will be required to wear a mask in class as well as communal areas. Care home residents allowed one regular named visitor. Two people to be allowed to meet outdoors for a chat. Stay at home order remains in place.

29 March - Outdoor gatherings of either six people or two households will be allowed including in private gardens. Outdoor sports, including football, golf and tennis to resume. Stay at home order ends but people encouraged to stay local wherever they can and work from home where possible. No overseas travel.

Step two -

From 12 April at earliest - Non-essential shops, libraries, museums, hairdressers, nail salons, gyms, indoor swimming pools and outdoor hospitality, like pubs allowed with households or rule of six to reopen. Zoos and theme parks allowed to reopen. Self catering holiday accommodation and camp sites reopen. Funerals continue with up to 30 people and weddings with up to 15 people.

Step three -

17 May at earliest - Most social contact rules lifted, as well as limited mixing indoors. Outdoor social contact rules lifted up to 30 people. Mixing indoors allowed for two households, but rule of six for indoor hospitality and elsewhere. Cinemas, soft play centres, rest of accommodation sector, hotels indoor exercise classes can return. Performance and sporting events resume with larger performances with venues 1,000 plus or half full will be allowed indoors and outdoors 4,000 capacity or half full (whichever is lowest). In very large seated venues, like football clubs, up to 10,000 people allowed to attend (or quarter full whichever is lowest). Up to 30 people will be able to attend weddings, receptions, funerals and wakes.

Step four -

21 June at earliest - the end of all legal limits on social contact including weddings. The Government hopes to be able to lift restrictions on large events at this stage too.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will set out their own approaches.

The Prime Minister also revealed that the covid vaccines are having a significant impact on the risk of serious illness Public Health Scotland analysis shows. In the fourth week after the first dose, hospitalisations were reduced by 85% and 94% for the Pfizer and Aztrazeneca jabs respectively.

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