England's Steps Out Of Lockdown: A Complete Guide

22 February 2021, 16:10 | Updated: 22 February 2021, 22:29

Boris Johnson has outlined how England will come out of lockdown
Boris Johnson has outlined how England will come out of lockdown. Picture: PA

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced England’s next steps to get out of the current national lockdown.

By Kathryn Knight

The government today confirmed how the nation will exit the current lockdown, with Boris Johnson outlining a series of steps in returning to some sort of normality.

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The steps in lifting coronavirus restrictions will each have five weeks between them, to ensure Covid-19 infections rates remain at a low and manageable level.

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Schools in England can return in March
Schools in England can return in March. Picture: Getty

If things go as planned, all legal limits on events such as weddings, funerals, theatres, indoor gatherings, and even nightclubs will be lifted in June.

Here’s a breakdown of the Prime Minister’s plans for lifting lockdown, when schools will return, when each sector can resume, and when we can all head back to the pub…

Step 1 - March 8

- All schools to reopen

- Outdoor school sports and activities allowed to continue

- People allowed to meet one other person from another household recreationally, i.e. for a picnic or to sit on a bench with a coffee

- Care home residents permitted one regular visitor

- Funerals to allow up to 30 people

- Weddings to allow up to six people

Boris Johnson is aiming for all social restrictions to be lifted in June 2021
Boris Johnson is aiming for all social restrictions to be lifted in June 2021. Picture: Getty

March 29

-Up to six people or two households allowed in outdoor spaces

- Outdoor sports facilities to reopen (e.g. tennis, basketball courts)

- Organised adult or children's sports activities can return

- Outdoor child and parent groups can return ( with up to 15 parents)

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Step 2 - no earlier than April 12

- Non-essential retail to open

- Outdoor hospitality can reopen

- Gyms and indoor leisure open for individual use

- Hairdressers, salons and personal care services can reopen

- Outdoor attractions such as zoos, drive-thru cinemas and theme parks can reopen

- Funeral wakes, weddings and receptions can have up to 15 people

Limits on wedding guests will gradually be lifted
Limits on wedding guests will gradually be lifted. Picture: Getty

Step 3 - no earlier than May 17

- Indoor hospitality, with no requirement for a substantial meal to be served alongside alcoholic drinks, and no curfew. The requirement to order, eat and drink while seated (‘table service’) will remain

- 30 person limit outdoors - rule of six will apply indoors (subject to conditions)

- International travel may be allowed (subject to conditions)

- Outdoor entertainment, such as outdoor theatres and cinemas can open

- Indoor entertainment, such as museums, cinemas and children’s play area can open

- Remaining accommodation, such as hotels, hostels and B&Bs will be allowed to operate

- Adult indoor group sports and exercise classes

- Some large events, including conferences, theatre and concert performances and sports events

- Significant life events allowed up to 30 people

Step 4 - no earlier than June 21

- Remove all legal limits on social contact, allowing people to meet indoors

- Nightclubs, theatres allowed to reopen (subject to conditions)

- All limits on weddings and other life events removed

Restrictions on international travel may be lifted in April
Restrictions on international travel may be lifted in April. Picture: Getty

The government will continuously monitor the success of the vaccine and infection rates before each step of lifting restrictions.

After limits on social restrictions are hopefully lifted in June, the government hope to plan for the safe return of major events such as concerts.

The advice on working from home, wearing face masks and social distancing will remain in the meantime.

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