The government has published the ‘COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021’, setting out the roadmap out of the current lockdown for England. Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has outlined that from Monday 8 March, people in England will see restrictions start to lift and the government’s four-step roadmap offer a route back to a more normal life.
In Step 1, the priority is to ensure that all children and students return safely to face-to-face education in schools and colleges from 8 March. The ‘stay at home’ rule will end on 29 March but many restrictions will remain in place. People should continue to work from home where they can and minimise the number of journeys they make where possible, avoiding travel at the busiest times and routes.
In Step 2, which will be no earlier than 12 April, will see the opening of non-essential retail; personal care premises such as hairdressers and nail salons; and public buildings, including libraries and community centres. Indoor leisure facilities such as gyms will also reopen (but only for use by people on their own or in household groups); as will most outdoor attractions and settings including outdoor hospitality venues, zoos, theme parks, and drive-in cinemas.
As part of Step 3, no earlier than 17 May, the government will look to continue easing limits on seeing friends and family wherever possible, allowing people to decide on the appropriate level of risk for their circumstances. Most businesses in all but the highest risk sectors will be able to reopen.
By Step 4 which will take place no earlier than 21 June, the government hopes to be in a position to remove all legal limits on social contact. The government also hope to reopen remaining premises, including nightclubs, and ease the restrictions on large events and performances that apply in Step 3.
In a joint statement, the Local Authority Leaders, Acting Mayor of Liverpool, and Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram, said:
“The Prime Minister has now set out a timetable for the whole country to return to something approaching normality again. After the huge sacrifices of the last 12 months, and we are sure that everyone will breathe a huge sigh of relief that light is beginning to appear at the end of a very dark tunnel.
“However, the threat from Coronavirus remains very real and we still have many weeks of restrictions ahead of us, so everyone should continue to stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.
“Given the need for continued restrictions it is vital that the government come forward with a further package of financial support including further help for businesses that will be forced to remain closed for some months, additional support for workers who need to self-isolate, and a scheme to help the three million self-employed who have been excluded from any form of help at all for the past year.”