The Roadmap out of lockdown

Yesterday the Prime Minister produced a roadmap to cautiously ease restrictions in England – setting out a one way road to freedom.

  • Because of the resolve and perseverance of the British people, and the extraordinary success of our NHS in vaccinating over 17.6 million people across the UK, the government has set out what we all hope will be a one way road to freedom. 
  • With more people being vaccinated every day, it is now possible to begin to gradually replace restrictions across England, working closely with the devolved nations, but this should be done cautiously so that this is the final lockdown and our progress is irreversible. 
  • The roadmap sets out four stages for easing restrictions, with at least five weeks between each phase to allow us to examine the latest data and subject it to four key tests: 

    • That the vaccine rollout continues successfully.
    • That the evidence shows vaccines are effective at preventing hospitalisation and death.
    • That infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations that would put the NHS under unsustainable pressure.
    • That our assessment is not fundamentally changed by new variants of Covid that cause concern 
  • With the four tests currently met, the first step will be getting all children back into schools from 8 March, supported by mass testing, and prioritising ways for people to safely reunite with their loved ones outdoors and in care homes with a named visitor.
  • There will also be further limited changes from 29 March, when schools go on Easter holidays. At that point, it will become possible to meet in limited numbers outdoors, where the risk is lower. So the Rule of Six will return outdoors, including in private gardens, and outdoor sports facilities will also reopen.
  • There will be further easing in step two, which will follow five weeks after step one, so no earlier than 12 April, with shops, hairdressers, gyms, holiday lets and others allowed to reopen, alongside pubs and restaurants that can serve outdoors. We will also publish the results of our review of international travel.
  • Steps three and four will follow at five week intervals after that, so long as the four tests continue to be met, and see the last remaining restrictions lifted, so no earlier than 17 May and 21 June, as we begin to return to life as normal.
  • The success of Britain's vaccination programme has dramatically changed our odds in defeating this disease. By proceeding cautiously through the four phases of our roadmap, we can restore people’s freedoms and usher in a Spring and Summer full of hope without undoing the sacrifices that have helped get us to this point.


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