Johnson gives hope of summer holidays abroad in UK road map
The British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, gave details this afternoon of the UK’s roadmap out of lockdown with the emphasis on caution as to not go back into lockdown, but with four review dates, five weeks apart, with four criteria deciding definitive openings and lifting of restrictions.
The plan to ease lockdown will be "led by data not dates" and subject to four tests continuing to be met:
- The vaccine deployment programme is continuing successfully.
- Evidence continues to show that vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated.
- Infection rates are not at risk of causing a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS.
- The government's assessment of the risks from the virus has not been "fundamentally changed" by new variants.
These will be looked at on four review dates, the first of which is in two weeks time on March 8th, then April 12th, May 17th and June 21st, and any lifting of restrictions will be dependent on meeting those criteria before the dates are guaranteed.
First of all he announced that from March 8th:
- All schools and educations centres are to open, and kids go back to school.
- Under-18 sport can take place at school as part of educational provision, or as part of wraparound care.
- The stay-at-home restriction will continue but will be amended so people can leave home for recreation as well as exercise outdoors, with their own household, support or childcare bubble, or with one person from another household.
- Social distancing and other safe behaviours should be followed.
- No overseas travel.
From March 29th:
- Outdoor sports facilities such as golf courses, tennis courts, basketball courts, and outdoor swimming pools, can reopen.
- Formally organised outdoor sports, for adults and under 18’s can also restart, and will not be subject to the gatherings limits.
- No overseas travel.
No earlier than April 12th:
- Non-essential retail, hairdressers, nail salons, and outdoor areas in hospitality venues (such as beer gardens) set to reopen, along with libraries, museums, zoos and theme parks.
- Self-contained accommodation will reopen, but people will only be able to stay with members of their household.
- Indoor leisure (including gyms) can open for use individually or within household groups.
- All children will be able to attend any indoor children's activity, including sport, regardless of circumstance.
- On April 12th a review by the Travel Taskforce will be made on international travel, with it being allowed no earlier than May 17th, until then, no overseas travel.
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No earlier than May 17th:
- Pubs, restaurants, cinemas, hotels, B&Bs and children's play areas set to open their doors once more.
- Most rules on social contact outdoors will be lifted, while two households or groups of up to six people will be allowed to mix indoors.
- Up to 30 people will be allowed at weddings, funerals, wakes, receptions and christenings
- Adult indoor group sports and exercise classes.
- Sports events indoors will be allowed up to 1,000 people or 50% of a venue's capacity, whichever is lower, while outdoor events will have a capacity of either 50% or 4,000 people, whichever is lower.
- There will be a special provision for large, outdoor, seated venues where crowds can be safely distributed, allowing up to 10,000 people or 25% of total seated capacity, whichever is lower.
- If criteria are met international travel will be allowed from this date, according to Boris Johnson, “so that people may plan their summer holidays.”
No earlier than June 21st:
- All legal limits on social contact removed with ambition to reopen final closed sectors of the economy such as nightclubs.
- Hope to lift restrictions on large events and performances.
- Hope to remove all limits on weddings and other "life events".
Rules in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland:
In Scotland, outdoor non-contact sports like golf and tennis are currently permitted and the government hopes to publish a route out of lockdown in the coming week.
Under Wales' current restrictions, sport and leisure facilities are closed but up to four people from two different households can meet to exercise outdoors. First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced minor easing of restrictions and said he hopes the "stay-at-home" requirement can end within three weeks.
Indoor and outdoor sports facilities are closed in Northern Ireland, where lockdown has been extended until April 1st, with a review of current measures on March 18th.