Yesterday the Prime Minister made a statement to Parliament setting out the Government's plan out of the present restrictions.
The Government also published a document containing the road map, along with the scientific basis for the plan. I would highly recommend reading the document. It not only contains the details of the plan out of restrictions, but updates on the vaccine rollout, take-up and efficacy; economic support; expansion of the testing programme and living with covid long term. You can read it HERE.
I have summarised the main stages out of restrictions below. The approach is one of caution, in order to try to ensure this is a one-way path. The dates are guidelines which could change according to data and the effects of earlier stages.
Every stage of unlocking depends on these tests being met. There will be a gap of at least 5 weeks between each stage to enable sufficient data to be available to assess the impacts.
As the Prime Minister has made clear throughout, returning face-to-face education in schools and colleges is a national priority. The decision to restrict face-to-face attendance in education and wraparound childcare settings has been taken only where it has been absolutely necessary to control the virus and save lives. The Government knows that being in face-to-face education is the best place for pupils and students.
Also from 8 March, each care home resident can receive a single nominated visitor who will wear PPE and take a lateral flow test before visiting. From 29 March, outdoor sports can restart and groups of 6 or two households can meet outdoors to socialise.
From April 12 at the earliest, some sections of the indoor economy can re-open. Driving tests may resume, and crucially for Northumberland's tourism economy, self-contained holiday lets can re-open to members of the same household, as long as entry, sleeping and bathing facilities are not shared.
From no earlier than 17 May, weddings, receptions, funerals, and commemorative events including wakes can proceed with up to 30 attendees. A broader range of stand-alone life events will also be permitted at this step, including bar mitzvahs and christenings.
The Government will further ease limits on social contact, enabling the public to make informed personal decisions. It will remain important for people to consider the risks for themselves, taking into account whether they and those they meet have been vaccinated or are at greater risk.
From no earlier than 21 June, there will be no legal limits on social contact and weddings and other events can take place without limits on numbers. Alongside this, the Government will publish accompanying guidance on how best to reduce the risk of transmission and protect ourselves and loved ones. some measures may be required even after all adults have been offered a vaccine, because neither coverage nor effectiveness of the vaccine will be 100%. As a result, a significant proportion of the population will remain vulnerable to infection, some of whom will also be vulnerable to severe disease and death.