Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson has this week set out his four-step plan to release England from lockdown, which will start with schools returning in March.

In a TV address to the nation on Monday night, the Prime Minister outlined his ‘irreversible’ plans.

Step one, on 8th March, will see all schools reopening. There will be mass Covid testing in secondary schools – with parents expected to carry out the testing at home, after three tests in school. From March 8th, two people will also be allowed to meet outdoors.

From 29th March, outdoor gatherings of either six people or two households will be allowed. Outdoor sports, including football, golf and tennis, will be allowed to resume from 29th March as well.

Step two would see shops, hairdressers, gyms and outdoor hospitality reopening from 12th April in England. Also from 12th April, outdoor hospitality will resume, as well as theme parks.

Step three would start on 17th May with most social contact rules lifted, as well as limited mixing indoors. The prime minister hopes that step four, from 21st June, will see the end of all legal limits on social contact.

Step 1: Part one on 8th March

Step one is in two parts:

  • all students return to schools and colleges, and school clubs can resume
  • Secondary school students will be required to wear masks in class as well as communal areas
  • People can meet one other person outside for recreation, not just exercise
  • Care home residents allowed one regular named visitor
  • Stay at home order remains in place.

Step 2: Part two on 29th March

  • Outdoor gatherings of up to six people or two households allowed, including meeting in private gardens
  • Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts and outdoor swimming pools allowed to reopen; organised outdoor sports can resume
  • Stay at home order ends but people encouraged to stay local wherever they can
  • Work from home wherever possible
  • No overseas travel.

Step 2: No earlier than 12th April

  • Non-essential retail, hairdressers, nail salons, libraries and museums open
  • Outdoor hospitality in pubs and restaurants allowed with households or rule-of-six
  • Most outdoor settings reopen such as zoos and theme parks
  • Gyms and indoor swimming pools open
  • Self catering holiday accommodation and camp sites reopen
  • Funerals continue with up to 30 people
  • Weddings with up to 15 people.

Step 3: No earlier than 17th May

  • Outdoors most social contact rules lifted, up to limit of 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 return
  • Performances and sporting events resume – larger performances with venues 1,000+ or half full will be allowed indoors and outdoors 4,000 capacity or half full (whichever lowest)
  • In very largest outdoor seated venues such as football stadiums up to 10,000 people allowed to attend (or 1/4 full whichever is lowest)
  • Up to 30 people can attend weddings, receptions, funerals, wakes.

Step 4: No earlier than 21 June

  • All legal limits on social contact removed with ambition to reopen final closed sectors of the economy such as nightclubs
  • Hope to lift restrictions on large events and performances
  • Hope to remove all limits on weddings and other “life events”
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