Boris Johnson’s lockdown roadmap: Everything we know so far about Covid restrictions lifting in England
18 February 2021, 07:18 | Updated: 18 February 2021, 08:12
Here’s everything we know so far about schools, shops, pubs and restaurants reopening in England.
The Prime Minister is set to announce his ‘lockdown roadmap’ on Monday (February 22) as coronavirus infections fall across the country.
But Boris Johnson has warned the public that the easing of Covid restrictions will be ‘cautious and prudent’, with children getting back to school a priority.
While last year England was put into ‘Tiers’, the PM has since admitted a national approach “might be better this time round”, with reports suggesting the whole country will be reopened at the same time.
First up, from March 8 a phased return to classrooms is expected to start, however it is unclear what ages will be asked to go back first.
It has also been reported by The Sun that outdoor recreation will be allowed from early March, as well as outdoor sports such as tennis, swimming and golf.
As the weather starts to heat up, Brits may be allowed to sit on a bench or enjoy a picnic with friends.
Current rules state that you can only meet one person from a separate household outside, but this could be changed back to the rule of six.
Following the reopening of schools, non essential-shops are likely to open with reports suggesting a time frame of early April.
If infections continue to drop, hairdressers, salons and gyms could be given the green light to open shortly after.
When it comes to the hospitality sector, bars and restaurants are set to be the last places to open their doors again.
According to The Sun, pubs and restaurants will be able to serve outdoor pints in April, with a source saying: “We will hopefully be sipping pints in the spring sunshine sooner rather than later.”
But the PM has warned Brits not to get ahead of themselves, insisting that lockdown easing will be done in stages.
He said this week: "I certainly think that we need to go in stages, we need to go cautiously.
"You have to remember from last year that we opened up hospitality fully, that was one of the last things that that we did because there is obviously an extra risk of transmission from hospitality
“I know there's there's a lot of understandable speculation, people are coming up with theories about what we're going to do and what we're going to say and about rates of infection and so on.
"I would just advise everybody just wait, you know, we'll try and say as much as we can."
A senior Whitehall source also warned that things are not likely to get back to normal quickly, telling the Telegraph: "For any significant relaxation of lockdown, household mixing and reopening pubs, case numbers have to be in the hundreds, not thousands."
It’s still unclear whether staycations will be allowed this year, with government ministers currently considering allowing families from the same household to go on holidays from the Easter break.
And when it comes to social distancing and mask wearing, these precautions could be here to stay.
Prof Tim Spector, who leads the Covid symptom study, recently said: "I can see us carrying on using masks in certain situations. And why not have to wash your hands when you go to the supermarket or you’re touching food - these are things that other countries routinely do.
“If you look at Japan they do wear masks every winter, it may not be compulsory maybe, but I think this is the sort of scenario we’re going to see.”
He added: “We’re not going to suddenly wake up one day and say we’re all cured like in the Hollywood movies and wave flags."