The Government’s plan for leaving lockdown includes some key dates when we are likely to see vital elements of life in the UK returning to normal.
The plan was revealed by Boris Johnson in his statement to the nation on Sunday and many of the dates were then confirmed in a 50-page document published on Monday.
Other dates have been filled in in the days since by official sources.
The dates are dependent on the rate of infection continuing to fall in the UK – as well as the number of deaths – and so far they only apply to England.
Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are setting out their own paths.
The first stage of easing lockdown has already begun.
From this week we have been able to take unlimited exercise – including angling, golf and tennis – and meet with friends or relatives in parks if we stay at least two metres apart.
Garden centres have reopened, fast food outlets are opening most of their venues for drive-thru and takeaways.
Childminders and nannies are now back in business.
The rules also now allow for unlimited travel, return to work, sunbathing and even buying a house and moving in, reports PlymouthLive.
Here are the key lockdown-easing dates set out by the Government for getting England out of lockdown:
This will see the start of children returning to school. The Government has said schools in England can begin to reopen at this point starting with primary schools and beginning with Year Six.
There will then be a phased return of different year groups. School unions have said it must be safe before children and staff return and it has been said parents will not be fined if they choose not to send their children back at this time.
Reception and Year One have also been flagged as likely to return first, with other year groups going back over the month ahead.
Communities minister Robert Jenrick has said the Government is looking at a ‘social bubbles’ strategy which would allow two households to meet up.
Details of this are yet to be confirmed – but if it happens it will begin in early June.
The Government has also indicated small weddings could be held in June.
June could see the start of a phased reopening of non-essential retail, although more of this will happen in July.
This is also the date European Union countries have set for reopening their borders to EU travellers – which will include UK citizens.
Theoretically, that means holidays in Italy, Spain, France, Greece and elsewhere will be possible – but that will depend on holiday and flight operators and UK law – which could mean you have to spend 14 days in quarantine when you come back.
Other countries are also setting out their own travel and quarantine rules.
Just ahead of what would be the start of the summer holidays some secondary school pupils will have face to face meetings with their teachers.
Formal lessons are not expected to start until September but this will allow pupils – especially those facing GCSE and A Level exams next year – to stay on track, hand over work and pick up new work for the summer.
Sporting and cultural events – including the Premier League – could start from some point in June. They would be held behind closed doors
This is the earliest date for the third stage of the three-stage path out of lockdown – and could see seated areas in cafes and restaurants re-open – although they may have to be outside.
Non-essential shops – such as clothes stores and furniture warehouses – should be able to reopen from this point.
Hairdressers and beauty salons could reopen and potentially some pubs and hotels as well as cinemas – although this is not confirmed.
Churches could also reopen from July 4, allowing for some weddings and funerals to take place.
The document makes clear not everything will be able to reopen in July.
It says: “Some venues which are, by design, crowded and where it may prove difficult to enact distancing may still not be able to re-open safely at this point.”
More sports could also be allowed, such as five-a-side football and small gatherings of no more than 30 people.
If all goes to plan and the infection rate continues to drop then the remainder of businesses – including pubs and restaurants – should be able to reopen by late summer or the start of autumn.
Larger crowds may be allowed, meaning football matches may be ‘back to normal’ but with enhanced social distancing measures.
The Government’s furlough scheme is set to end in October meaning that, unless it is extended again, most businesses are expected to be up and running by this stage. Everything will depend on keeping the virus under control.
Live music could return. The live music industry fears people won’t be back in concert venues until the end of the year. The same could go for theatres and comedy – with large crowds in indoor venues the riskiest for the spread of the virus.
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