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Boris Johnson has shared the Government’s 4 step plan to cautiously lift the coronavirus lockdown restrictions in England. The rules and restrictions will be lifted in stages. 

The four tests that must be met at each stage are:

  • The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully
  • Evidence shows that vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
  • Infection rates do not show a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
  • The assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by any new “variants of concern” of the virus

The first steps of lockdown easing in England will proceed on 8th March. It is important to note that all of these steps are subject to review.

Step 1:

From 8th March 

  • Schools and colleges reopen for all ages
  • School-run outdoor clubs can restart 
  • Care home residents can have one regular visitor, provided they are tested and wear PPE
  • 2 people can meet outdoor for recreation, not just for exercise – e.g. for a picnic or sit down for a coffee
  • Funerals can have a maximum of 30 people, wakes and weddings can have a maximum of 6 people
  • We are still encouraged to stay at home
  • Mixing households indoors is still not permitted

From 29th March 

  • Two households or up to 6 people can meet outdoors, including in private gardens
  • Organised outdoor sports can resume for both children and adults, such as grassroots football
  • Travel should be minimised but is permitted outside of your local area, although overnight stays are not permitted 
  • Outdoor parent and child groups can take place with up to 15 parents
  • Mixing households indoors is still not permitted

Step 2:

Step 2 will take place at least 5 weeks after step 1; so no earlier than 12th April.

  • Indoor leisure facilities (including gyms and swimming pools) open for use individually or with household groups
  • Outdoor attractions can open, such as zoos, theme parks and drive-in cinemas
  • Libraries and community centres can reopen
  • Personal care premises can reopen, such as hairdressers and beauty salons
  • All retail stores can reopen
  • Outdoor hospitality can reopen, such as restaurants and pubs where customers can be served outside
  • All children’s activities and indoor parent and child groups can resume (up to 15 parents)
  • Domestic overnight stays are allowed, but for households only
  • Self-contained accommodation, such as holiday lets, can resume, but for households only
  • Funerals can have a maximum of 30 people; wakes and weddings can have a maximum of 15 people (risen from 6 people, in step 1)
  • Mixing households indoors is still not permitted
  • No international holidays are permitted

Step 3:

Step 3 will take place at least 5 weeks after step 2, so no earlier than 17th May 

  • Indoor entertainment and attractions can resume, such as museums, cinemas and children’s indoor play areas
  • Up to 30 people can meet outdoors
  • Re-introduction of the “Rule of 6”or two households can mix indoors (subject to review)
  • Domestic overnight stays are permitted
  • Organised indoor adult sport can resume
  • Most significant life events, such as weddings, can have a maximum of 30 people attending
  • Remaining outdoor entertainment can resume
  • Remaining accommodation such as hotels can reopen
  • International travel can resume (subject to review)
  • Some large events can resume, but capacity limits apply
  • Indoor events: 1,000 people or 50% capacity of the venue
  • Outdoor other events: 4,000 people or 50% capacity of the venue
  • Outdoor seated events: 10,000 people or 25% capacity of the venue

Step 4:

Step 4 will take place at least 5 weeks after step 3, so no earlier than 21st June

  • No legal limits on social contact
  • Nightclubs can reopen
  • Larger events can take place
  • No legal limit on all life events

The Prime Minister said  “We will be cautious about this approach so that we do not undo the progress we have achieved so far and the sacrifices each and every one of you has made to keep yourself and others safe.”

Before proceeding to the next step for easing lockdown restrictions, the Government will examine the data to assess the impact of the previous changes.

We’re here to help you to stay safe

It’s important that everyone continues to stay at home as much as possible while restrictions are eased in each step. We’ve helped save over 5 million trips outside, by delivering medication directly to people’s homes, and if you have family or friends with a health condition, you can send them a message to tell them about our service which may help to minimise their risk.

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