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Covid-19 roadmap revealed: The key dates for lifting lockdown

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced the "cautious", yet "irreversible" plans for lifting lockdown in England.
Boris Johnson speech555
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has revealed the roadmap for lifting Covid-19 restrictions (photo: PA)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed the plans for lifting lockdown to the House of Commons today, February 22. 

Mr Johnson said that it is crucial that the road-map is cautious, and will be irreversible, meaning that the proposed dates could change at any time depending on new data. 

There will be five weeks between each step to allow the government to assess the data and note the impact. 

Mr Johnson confirmed the key dates for lifting lockdown as the following: 

March 8: 

Pupils and students in all schools and Further Education centres can return, with fortnightly testing for secondary and Further Education students. Children's activities can restart where necessary to help parents to work – students at university requiring online teaching will continue online. 

People can meet one other person for outdoor recreation, including having a coffee or picnic, though clinically vulnerable people are advised to shield. Care home residents can name a single visitor allowed to see them regularly as long as they are getting tested prior to the visit.

March 29:

Boris Johnson said “limited changes” will be made on March 29 when schools go on Easter holidays, telling MPs: "It’ll become possible to meet in limited numbers outdoors where the risk is lower.

"So the rule of six will return outdoors including in private gardens and outdoor meetings of two households will also be permitted on the same basis, so that families in different circumstances can meet."

Tennis and basketball courts, open air swimming pools and other outdoor sports facilities will be able to reopen and formally organised outdoor sports will resume subject to guidance, the Prime Minister said.

Mr Johnson went on: "From this point, March 29, people will no longer be legally required to stay at home. But many lockdown restrictions will remain. People should continue to work from home where they can and minimise all travel wherever possible."

April 12:

Non-essential retail and personal care, including hairdressers and nail salons, will open along with gyms while holiday lets can be used by individuals or household groups.

Mr Johnson told MPs: "We will begin to reopen our pubs and restaurants outdoors and honourable members will be relieved there will be no curfew and the Scotch egg debate will be over, as there will be no requirement for alcohol to be accompanied by a substantial meal."

Zoos, theme parks and drive-in cinemas will also reopen in this phase along with public libraries and community centres, Mr Johnson said.

May 17:

Boris Johnson said step three will begin no earlier than May 17, explaining most restrictions on meetings outdoors will be lifted – subject to a limit of 30.

He told MPs: "This is the point where you will be able to see your friends and family indoors subject to the rule of six or meeting of two households.

"We will also reopen pubs and restaurants indoors along with cinemas, children’s play areas, hotels, hostels and B&Bs, theatres and concert halls will reopen their doors.

"The turnstiles of our sports stadia will once again rotate, subject in all cases to capacity limits depending on the size of the venue."

June 21:

Mr Johnson aims to remove all legal limits on social contact and weddings, with everything reopened up to and including nightclubs and theatres, with potential testing to reduce the risk of infection.

The easing of lockdown will be announced to the public this evening, at 7pm.