First stage in roadmap out of lockdown revealed

All schools in England will be told to reopen to all pupils on March 8 as part of the Prime Minister’s roadmap of easing lockdown restrictions.

Ahead of Boris Johnson addressing the House of Commons with the roadmap out of lockdown on Monday at around 3.30pm, some details of the first stage have already been revealed.

Along with the date for schools, Mr Johnson will announce people will be permitted to sit with one other person in a park for a drink or picnic on March 8.

Later on March 29, groups of up to six people or two households can meet outdoors or in private gardens.

Outdoor sports facilities like tennis courts and golf courses will also be permitted to reopen on March 29, including the allowance of organised sports activities.

However, Number 10 insisted that the “stay at home” message would remain in place despite the relaxation of some restrictions.

These relaxation methods are just the first stage of the four-part roadmap which will include details of reopening hospitality and non-essential businesses in the next few months.

While new reports have not revealed the dates shops and hairdressers can reopen, it is likely to be until mid-April at the earliest.

It has been said the regional tier system seen in 2020 will not return, and instead restrictions will ease through stages in England as a whole.

To progress to further restrictions easing, the Prime Minister will say there are four tests that must be passed such as:

– The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully

– Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated

– Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS

– The assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new variants of concern.

Ahead of his Commons address, Mr Johnson said: “Today I’ll be setting out a road map to bring us out of lockdown cautiously.

“Our priority has always been getting children back into school which we know is crucial for their education as well as their mental and physical wellbeing, and we will also be prioritising ways for people to reunite with loved ones safely.

“Our decisions will be made on the latest data at every step, and we will be cautious about this approach so that we do not undo the progress we have achieved so far and the sacrifices each and every one of you has made to keep yourself and others safe.

“We have therefore set four key tests which must be met before we can move through each step of the plan.”

Enfield Independent | News