The Roadmap for easing lockdown restrictions for businesses takes effect in a week’s time, with the Government publishing a four-step plan. Before taking each step, the Government will review the latest data on the impact of the previous step, against four tests on vaccines, infection rates and new coronavirus variants to be met at each stage. The below is an edited version of the full version which can be accessed by clicking here.
Step 1 – from 8 March
Businesses permitted to open remain the same as currently allowed.
In addition, businesses eligible to host childcare and supervised activities for children (such as community centres or libraries) will be able to host these activities for children providing that they are necessary to enable parents to work, seek work, attend education, seek medical care, or attend a support group.
From 29 March
At this stage, some further settings will be permitted to open. This will include outdoor sports facilities such as:
- swimming pools
- sports courts (such as tennis and basketball courts)
People can use these venues in a group of six people, or with members of up to two households.
Businesses eligible to host childcare and supervised activities for children will now be able to host all outdoor children’s activities, and outdoor parent-and child groups for up to 15 people (not counting those aged under five).
Step 2 – no earlier than 12 April
Following the move to Step 2, further settings will be permitted to open. Unless a specific exemption exists, these must only be attended/used in line with the wider social contact limits at this stage – as a single household or bubble indoors; or in a group of 6 people or 2 households outdoors.
Non-essential retail will reopen. This will include but not be limited to:
- clothing stores and tailors
- charity and antique shops
- showrooms (such as for vehicles as well as kitchens and bathrooms)
Personal care facilities and close contact services will reopen. This will include:
- hair, beauty and nail salons
- tattoo studios
Indoor sports and leisure facilities will reopen. This will include at:
- gyms and leisure centres
- sports courts
- swimming pools
Self-contained holiday accommodation in which all facilities (including for sleeping, catering, bathing, and indoor lobbies and corridors for entry and exit) are restricted to exclusive use of a single household/support bubble will reopen.
Outdoor areas at hospitality venues (cafes, restaurants, bars, pubs, social clubs, including in member’s clubs) can reopen, including for takeaway alcohol. These venues may allow customers to use toilets located inside.
Outdoor attractions will reopen, including:
- adventure parks and activities
- animal attractions (such as at zoos, safari parks and aquariums)
- drive in events, such as for cinemas, theatres, and other performances.
Step 3 – no earlier than 17 May
Unless a specific exemption exists, these must only be attended/used in line with the wider social contact limits at this stage – in a group of 6 people or 2 households indoors; or in a group of no more than 30 people outdoors.
Indoor areas of hospitality venues will reopen. As outdoors, table service will be required. Indoor entertainment and visitor attractions will reopen. This will include:
- concert halls
- museums and galleries
- adventure playgrounds and activities
Step 4 – no earlier than 21 June
In Step 4 they hope to reopen remaining settings such as nightclubs and adult entertainment venues, and to lift the restrictions on social contact and large events that apply in Step 3. This is subject to the outcome of the Events Research Programme, and a review of social distancing measures.
They will also look to relax COVID-Secure requirements on businesses, subject to the outcome of the reviews.
The decision on each stage will be based on data not dates, and government will move cautiously to keep infection rates under control.