Boris Johnson outlines the UK’s roadmap out of lockdown

Feb 22, 2021

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Boris Johnson has revealed the U.K.’s so-called roadmap out of lockdown, the details of which have been put together in a 60-page document.

In a speech at the House of Commons on Monday, Johnson said that “It is so crucial that this road map will be cautious but also irreversible,” and will be a “one-way road to freedom.” The PM also added that the easing of restrictions will be lead by “data, and not dates.”

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Restrictions will ease in all regions of the country at the same time, rather than the previous tier system approach. Monday’s announcement of the easing of restrictions currently only applies to England. Johnson will be working with the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish governments to work out how each of the nations can align.

As has been widely speculated, schools will be the first thing to reopen. As of 8 March, all students will be allowed back to all schools. You will be allowed to meet one person outdoors.

As of 29 March at the earliest, people will be allowed to eat in limited numbers outdoors, the rule of six will return including in private gardens, outdoor sports facilities will reopen and there will no longer be a stay at home requirement.

As of 12 April at the earliest, all non-essential retail will reopen, including hairdressers and nail salons. Holiday lets will reopen, but only for single families. Pubs and restaurants will be allowed to reopen outdoors. Outdoor attractions such as zoos, drive-thru cinemas and theme parks can reopen.

As of 17 May, indoor dining and pubs will be allowed to reopen with no requirement for substantial meals or curfew. Hotels and hostels will be allowed to reopen, largely bringing back domestic staycations. International travel may be allowed to resume as of this date, but will be subject to conditions.

Finally, as of 21 June at the earliest, the government will remove all legal limits on social contact.

Travel, both domestic and international, remains off the cards at this time. A successor to the Global Travel Taskforce will meet to determine if travel can return and will deliver an update on 12 April — with a possibility for domestic staycations as of that date.

It was also suggested that some level of restrictions may remain in place even into 2022.

On Tuesday 5 January, the whole of the U.K. was placed into its third national lockdown since coronavirus shut down the country for the first time in March 2020. The latest lockdown rules meant the closure of all non-essential businesses and a strict stay-at-home mandate that rendered any form of non-essential travel illegal, be it domestic or international.

Related: What is considered essential travel vs. non-essential travel during lockdown?

Brits have been confined to their homes unless for food shopping, exercise or carrying out work which cannot be done from home. Schools have also been closed except for children of front-line workers. Cafés and restaurants that can provide take away food for delivery or pick up have remained open.

During the lockdown, the government has also ramped up its efforts to stop new the spread of new strains of the virus entering the U.K. As of January, all passengers must have a negative COVID-19 test result, taken no more than 72 hours prior to departure. As of 15 February, arrivals from 33 red-list countries are forced to quarantine in government hotels for a 10-day period.

Related: Everything you need to know about the UK’s hotel quarantine

All other international arrivals are required to undergo a 10-day quarantine at home. Additionally, all arrivals must take two COVID-19 tests on days two and eight of their quarantine.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Featured photo by WPA Pool/Getty Images.

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