Boris Johnson maps out plan to end England restrictions by 21 June

Updated: Feb 23

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has announced detailed plans for easing lockdown in England in four stages.

Johnson told MPs the plan aimed to be "cautious but irreversible" and at every stage decisions would be led by "data not dates".

From 17 May, two households might be allowed to mix in homes, while the rule of six could apply in places like pubs.

Shops, hairdressers, gyms and outdoor hospitality could reopen on 12 April in England under plans set out by the PM.

The prime minister later told a Downing Street news conference the coming spring and summer would be "seasons of hope, looking and feeling incomparably better for us all".

He described the plan as a "one-way road to freedom" but said he could not guarantee it would be irreversible "but the intention is that it should be".

Initial data on the UK's coronavirus vaccine rollout suggests it is having a "spectacular" impact when it comes to stopping serious illness.

Step One:

1– 8 March

  • All pupils and college students will return fulltime, with before- and after-school clubs opened. Secondary school pupils and older will wear masks in classes for a period.

  • People can meet one other person outside for a coffee or picnic,in some cases and not just for exercise. Children will still count towards this.

  • Care home residents can receive one regular, named visitor.

  • The “stay at home” order will stay in place.

2 – 29 March

  • Up to six people allowed to meet outdoors or two households if this is larger, not just in parks but also gardens.

  • Outdoor sport for children and adults will be allowed including outdoor swimming pools.

  • The official stay at home order will end, but people will be encouraged to stay local – the definition of local will largely be left to people’s discretion.

  • People will still be asked to work from home where possible, with no overseas travel allowed beyond the current small number of exceptions.

Step Two:

From 12 April

  • Non-essential retail, hair and nail salons, and public buildings such as libraries can reopen.

  • Most outdoor venues will open, including pubs and restaurants.

  • Indoor leisure facilities such as gyms and pools can also open but again people can only go alone or with their own household.

  • Reopening of holiday lets with no shared facilities, but only for one household.

  • Funerals can have up to 30 attendees, while weddings, receptions and wakes can have 15.

Step Three:

From 17 May

  • Most mixing rules lifted outdoors, with a limit of 30 people meeting in parks or gardens.

  • Indoor mixing will be allowed, up to six people or, if it is more people, two households.

  • Indoor venues such as the inside of pubs and restaurants, hotels and B&Bs, play centres, cinemas, museums and group exercise classes will reopen.

  • The new indoor and outdoor mixing limits will remain for pubs and other hospitality venues.

  • Weddings will be allowed a limit of 30 people, with other events such as christenings and barmitzvahs also permitted.

Step Four:

From 21 June

  • All legal limits removed on mixing will be removed and the last sectors to remain closed, such as nightclubs, will reopen. Large events can take place.

  • There are likely to be changes to wider social distancing measures but this will be decided in a separate review.

Meanwhile, more than 17.7 million people across the UK have now received at least one vaccine dose, according to the latest government figures.

Elsewhere, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said Scotland will return to a tiered system of restrictions when lockdown measures are eased.

Ms Sturgeon added that she would set out the likely phases for a gradual lifting of restrictions on Tuesday.

Northern Ireland's First Minister Arlene Foster wants its executive to discuss the reopening date for schools following Mr Johnson's announcement in England.

While in Wales, First Minister Mark Drakeford has said he hopes the "stay-at-home" requirement could end within three weeks, with some non-essential shops and hairdressers possibly reopening at the same time.