Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his roadmap to Ministers today (Monday 22 February), in which he sets out transition stages out of lockdown, providing the 4 tests are met:
1. The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully.
2. Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated.
3. Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS.
4. Our assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern.
The full roadmap is here.
From 8 March, pupils and students in all schools and further education settings will return to face-to-face teaching, supported by twice-weekly testing of secondary school and college pupils.
All students will begin to return to face-to-face education on 8 March with the following testing measures in place:
- all primary school children will return on Monday 8 March. Primary school staff will continue to take 2 rapid COVID-19 tests each week at home
- all secondary school and college students will take three COVID-19 tests as they return to the classroom from the 8 March at existing school testing facilities. Schools and colleges will have discretion on how to test students over that week to enable their return to the classroom. After the initial programme of three tests in school or college, students will be provided with 2 rapid tests to use each week at home
From that date, people will also be able to meet one person from outside their household for outdoor recreation, such as a coffee on a park bench, in addition to exercise.
People identified as being Clinically Extremely Vulnerable are however advised to continue shielding until at least the end of March.
And every care home resident will be able to nominate a named visitor, able to see them regularly provided they are tested and wear Personal Protective Equipment.
From 29 March, the Rule of Six will return outdoors including in private gardens. Outdoor meetings of two households will also be permitted. And outdoor sports facilities, such as tennis and basketball courts will be able to reopen.
From 29 March, people will no longer be legally required to stay at home, but people should continue to work from home where they can and minimise all travel wherever possible.
Non-essential retail, hairdressers, indoor leisure facilities such as gyms, as well as holiday-lets for use by individuals or household groups, will reopen no earlier than 12 April, and even then subject to the latest data first satisfying certain conditions. Pubs and restaurants will be able to to re-open from that date too.
Restrictions on meetings outdoors will be lifted, no earlier than 17 May, subject to a limit of thirty people, and groups of no more than six people or two households will be able to meet indoors.
From that date, pubs and restaurants will open indoors, as will hotels, hostels and B & Bs.
Info from HM Government and Devon County Council.