Key dates Boris Johnson could reopen schools, shops and pubs in England under lockdown roadmap
15 February 2021, 07:21 | Updated: 15 February 2021, 07:25
The government will reveal their lockdown easing plans later this month.
Boris Johnson is set to make an announcement on February 22 as to when England can start to ease social lockdown restrictions.
The Prime Minister said he’s ‘optimistic’ about unveiling a ‘cautious’ roadmap to put an end to social distancing rules after meeting his target of vaccinating 15million vulnerable people.
It has always been the government’s priority to get children back to school as soon as possible, and Dominic Raab confirmed on Sunday this will happen from March 8.
The foreign secretary told Sky: “On March 8 we’re aiming to get schools back. The precise details – we need to make sure we set out once we’ve evaluated all of that evidence.
“But the aim is to get schools reopening in a responsible way on the 8th.”
Picnics in the park
In addition to schools reopening, The Telegraph has claimed people will be allowed to sit on a park bench or enjoy a picnic with one person from another household from March 8.
A senior government source told them that further mixing of households will not be permitted either outdoors or indoors until a later date.
Non essential shops
Meanwhile, all non-essential stores, such as clothes shops, are currently closed under the lockdown restrictions.
But if the R rate continues to lower and second doses of the vaccine are given out, these could start to reopen again ‘towards the end of March’, reports the i.
Mr Johnson also hinted over the weekend that non-essential shops would be the first places to reopen after pupils return to schools.
Pubs and restaurants
There's also hope that pubs will be allowed to serve food and drinks outdoors from April.
According to The Sun, hospitality is set to reopen in May, but there is the possibility of takeaway pints allowed by Easter.
The rule of six and social distancing rules are expected to remain in place for the early reopening, with a Government source telling the newspaper: “We will hopefully be sipping pints in the spring sunshine sooner rather than later.”
It’s thought indoor mixing in pubs and restaurants will take place in May.
When pubs do reopen over the coming months, it's been reported that restrictions - including the 10pm curfew and ‘substantial meal’ requirement - will be scrapped.
When it comes to international travel, it is thought that restrictions will stay in place for some time, but Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the government is ‘doing everything they can’ to make sure holidays can go ahead.
Talking to Sky News, he said: "It is difficult at this point, and people will have to be patient as the Prime Minister said.
"But we are doing everything we can to make sure people can have that holiday. And even before then to see their loved ones."
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps warned that trips within the UK or internationally may not be able to go ahead until everyone in the country is vaccinated.
Speaking on Sky News, he explained: "The truth is we just don’t know how the virus will respond to both to the vaccines and of course how people will respond.
"I’m afraid I can’t give you a definitive, will there or will there not be the opportunity to take holidays this next year either at home or abroad."
The plan will all be based on the success of the vaccine rollout, a drop in NHS admissions and falling Covid cases and deaths.
The Government aims to have offered a first dose of the vaccine to every adult by September.