Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to set out his roadmap for the release of Covid-19 restrictions and lockdown rules in plans for the coming months.
The Prime Minister is expected to announce his roadmap first to Parliament this afternoon around 3.30pm (22nd February), before delivering a televised press conference in the evening where he will also discuss current infection and vaccination rates.
The roadmap is expected to balance health, economic and social factors with epidemiological data including vaccination and infection rates and NHS capacity. The first step on lockdown to ease will be the full reopening of schools in England from 8th March. Restrictions will also be eased step-by-step across the whole nation, and outdoor activities will be reopened before indoor ones which have a higher risk of spreading the coronavirus.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
Today I’ll be setting out a roadmap 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.”
Vaccines Minister, Nadhim Zahawi confirmed speaking with BBC Breakfast that from 29th March, it is anticipated that outdoor gatherings of up to six people or two households will be permitted and outdoor sports facilities will reopen, such as golf clubs, tennis courts and grassroots football.
Leaked information being reported by the Times newspaper indicates that indoor leisure and hospitality, such as cinemas and restaurants, will return in May, with non-essential retail reopening in April.