Today the Government announced its plan to lift lockdown slowly in stages.
There will be no more regional tiers. Instead, England will be under one new national system. Here’s what we know.
From 8 March
All schools will open, with outdoor after-school sports and activities allowed.
Meeting up socially outdoors with one other person will be allowed. Until then, it is illegal and you can still only meet another person, outdoors and for exercise.
People in care homes will also be allowed one regular visitor.
From 29 March
It is expected you will be able to meet outdoors in groups of up to six or as two whole households. This includes meeting in private gardens.
You should still stay local as much as possible — overnight stays will still not be permitted.
Outdoor sports facilities like tennis and basketball courts will reopen, and organised adult and children’s sport, such as grassroots football, will also return.
What will happen after that?
Every five weeks, when moving from one step to the next the Government will review whether four tests are being met. These will be:
The vaccine deployment continues successfully
The vaccines are reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
The Government’s assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new variants of the virus
The stages of the roadmap will hopefully will be:
March: schools reopen and some outdoor restrictions lifted
April: some businesses will reopen, but with a focus on outdoor socialising
May: some indoor activity, including dining in pubs and restaurants permitted
June: as close to normal as possible
We all want this to be the final lockdown we have to go through, which is why I want to stress, once again, how important it is to follow the existing rules. We cannot risk going backwards when we’ve given up so much to get here.
Please continue to stay at home and take precautions to keep each other safe. It’s the only way we’ll get back to doing the things we love and seeing the people we care about.
Stay strong, London.