When will COVID-19 restrictions lift in England?

The ‘roadmap’ for guiding us out of COVID-19 restrictions in England has now been declared. If specific conditions are met after the first stage in March, further lifting of the rules are said to happen. The efficiency of the vaccine rollout will heavily influence the timeframe of this plan.

The ultimate aim is for all of the current restrictions to lift by June 21st – although this is the earliest estimation (providing everything goes to plan.)

Here is the guideline for exiting lockdown:

Stage one

8th March:

  • University students are allowed to return for vocational course. For non-practical courses, this will be reviewed in the Easter holidays.
  • All schools and colleges are allowed to open.
  • Two people from different households can socialise outdoors.
  • Care home residents are granted one visitor, with whom they can hold hands.
  • Takeaway food permitted for pubs and restaurants.

29th March:

  • Stay at home rule ends, but government urges you to stay local.
  • Organised outdoor sports may begin again.
  • Weddings (with up to 6 attendants) can take place.
  • People are allowed to meet outside, within the rule of six.

Stage two

12th April:

  • Non-essentials shops allowed to reopen.
  • Pubs and restaurants can serve customers seated outdoors – this includes alcohol.
  • Gyms and spas reopen.
  • Beauty salons, barbers and hairdressers can reopen.
  • Zoos, drive-in cinemas and theme parks permitted to reopen.
  • Libraries and community centres permitted to reopen.
  • UK domestic holidays are permitted, as well as self-contained accommodation for members of the same household.
  • Indoor play activities for children are permitted (up to 15 parents of guardians allowed to join.)
  • Weddings (with up to 15 attendees) allowed to take place.

Stage three

17th May:

  • Rule of 30 implemented outdoors.
  • Two households or six people can meet indoors.
  • Hostels, hotels and B&B’s permitted to reopen.
  • Restaurants and pubs and cafés permitted to provide indoor seating.
  • Weddings (with up to 30 attendees) allowed to take place.
  • International travel for leisure purposes may
  • Adult exercise classes and indoor group sports permitted to run again.

Stage 4

21st June:

  • Nightclubs allowed to reopen.
  • No legal limits on the number of people attended weddings, christenings, funerals and other events.
  • All legal limits on social contact are removed.

In order to follow this timeframe, four requirements must be met before progressing to the next stage.

  1. The vaccination programme is reducing the number of people dying or hospitalised to a satisfactory degree.
  2. The vaccine programme continues going to plan.
  3. New variants of the virus do not increase the risk of lifting lockdown measures.
  4. Infection rates do not pose a risk of surging hospital admissions.

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