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A timeline of lockdown measures in Peterborough since March

Following the announcement from Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday, January 4, that new lockdown measures would take place, we look back at the past 10 months and what measures were put in place across the UK, and later, Peterborough.
Cathedral Square
A timeline of lockdown measures in Peterborough since March (Photo John Baker)

New rules came into place during the middle of March, with the suggestion to socially distance, just days before the UK was plunged into the first national lockdown. 

– March 15: Downing Street announces it will hold daily press conferences fronted by Boris Johnson or a senior minister to update the public on the fight against the outbreak, the following day, Mr Johnson advised people to avoid pubs, clubs and theatres. 

– March 17: The NHS started to cancel all non-emergency surgery, the following day, schools across the UK closed to the public, excluding students of key workers.

– March 20: Pubs and restaurants across the country were forced to close, with cinemas, nightclubs, theatres, gyms and leisure centres also told to shut their doors. Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the initial furlough scheme, with the government covering 80% of the wages of staff not working, up to £2,500 a month. 

– March 23: The first national lockdown was announced, with people only allowed out for food shopping, exercise, some work and medical needs. Non-essential retail closed and events including weddings were cancelled. 

– April 16:  Lockdown measures were extended for at least three more weeks.

– April 30: Mr Johnson said the country is now "past the peak of this disease".

– May 10: Restrictions started to ease, people could sit in parks and exercise was allowed more than once a day. 

– May 11: Garden centres were allowed to reopen and people were allowed outdoors for unlimited exercise in pursuits such as tennis and golf, but social distancing was essential. 

– May 28: Rule of six was introduced for outdoor socialising. 

– May 30: England’s deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam says Britain is facing a “very dangerous moment” with the easing of lockdown restrictions.

– June 1: Lockdown measures are eased, with schoolchildren in England in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 returning to the classroom. Outdoor markets and car showrooms could open and elite sport events could begin from behind closed doors.

– June 15: Non-essential retail reopened, while zoos and safari parks opened their doors for the first time since March. Places of worship could open for private prayer, and some secondary school pupils could go back to the classroom.

– July 3: A list of 73 countries and territories where English tourists could visit without self-isolating on their return was published.

– July 4: Pubs and restaurants were able to open and weddings were able to go ahead.

– July 13: Beauty salons, nail bars and tattoo shops in England were able to open.

– July 24: Face coverings were mandatory in shops across England, with £100 fines for people who flout the rules.

– July 30: People who tested positive for coronavirus or displayed symptoms had to self-isolate for 10 days as Mr Hancock warns of a second wave.

– July 31: Measures due to be lifted on August 1, including allowing small wedding receptions, reopening bowling alleys and casinos and pilots of larger gatherings in sports venues, are delayed for at least two weeks.

– August 1: Shielding advice for people extremely vulnerable is paused.

– August 3: The Government’s Eat Out To Help Out scheme launches, with restaurants, pubs and cafes offering half-price meals to diners during August.

– August 28: People hosting a gathering of more than 30 people could get fined £10,000 as tougher measures come into force before the bank holiday weekend.

– September 8: Mr Hancock warns of a possible second peak following a “concerning” rise in the number of cases.

– September 11: The R value of coronavirus transmission across the UK rises above 1 for the first time since early March, according to Government advisers, with the estimate between 1.0 and 1.2.

– September 22: The Prime Minister prepares to announce new restrictions including a 10pm curfew on pubs, bars and restaurants in England from September 24.

– October 12: Peterborough enters Tier 1 as the first tier system is announced, meaning: 10pm curfew for bars, pubs and restaurants. Gatherings of more than six people banned, apart from some settings such as funerals and weddings.

– October 22: Peterborough City Hospital reintroduces visiting restrictions due to an increase in Covid-19 cases.

– October 31: A second national lockdown was imposed in England, closing hospitality and non-essential shops, though schools remained open.

– November 5: Mr Sunak tells the Commons that the jobs furlough scheme is being extended until the end of March in a major Government U-turn.

– November 24: The UK Government and devolved administrations agree on plans allowing families to reunite over the festive period by forming "Christmas bubbles".

– December 2: England’s national lockdown comes to an end and is replaced by a strengthened three-tier system as Peterborough enters Tier 2, meaning no indoor household mixing was allowed.

– December 14: Mr Hancock tells MPs a new strain of coronavirus has been identified in southern England, with the number of cases involving the new variant "increasing rapidly".

– December 17: Peterborough entered Tier 3, resulting in the closure of all hospitality services as the regional R rate was between 1.2 and 1.4

– December 19: Peterborough entered Tier 4, which meant the previously promised Christmas plans could no longer go ahead and non-essential retail closed. 

– December 26: Cambridgeshire entered Tier 4 restrictions along with many other places in the South. 

– December 30: Lincolnshire entered Tier 4, meaning the likes of Stamford, Crowland and Deeping St James also faced the same restrictions as Peterborough.

– January 5: England heads into a third national lockdown, which sees the continued closure of hospitality and non-essential retail in Peterborough, while closing schools.