Prime Minister Boris Johnson has set out his plan for easing the country out of the third national lockdown. The roadmap, which sets out a series of key dates and criteria that must be met before the rules are relaxed, will see all legal limits on social contact lifted by 21 June, if everything goes to plan.
The first part of the roadmap will see the nation’s schools reopen on the 8th of March 2021. A key factor in getting the economy moving again, the reopening of schools will provide a welcome boost to parents who have had to work from home and home school their children.
If the levels of infection, hospitalisations and deaths keep falling, non essential shops, hairdressers, gyms, & outdoor hospitality venues could be the next to reopen on the 12th of April 2021.
The 17th of May 2021 is the next key date with the Prime Minister hoping to relax the rules on household mixing on that day.
The final decisive step in the roadmap will see all legal limits on social contact removed on the 21st of June 2021. For this to happen, however, infection and death rates would have to keep falling throughout April and May.
The government does forsee each step in the roadmap placing additional pressure on infection statistics, but it is hoped that this will be balanced by the reduction in Covid infections in vaccinated groups.
The Prime Minister acknowledged that his roadmap was cautious but he also views the plans as irreversible with the government expecting the third lockdown to be the llfinal one.
Mr Johnson added that the spring and summer would be “seasons of hope, looking and feeling incomparably better for us all”.
The roadmap comes in the same week as new data is released which suggests that the vaccination programme is having a spectacular effect on infection rates.
Both Pfizer and Astra Zeneca’s vaccines are thought to lower the chances of getting seriously ill with Covid 19 by between 80% and 90% after just one dose.
More information about the government’s roadmap out of lockdown can be found here.
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