Sat. Sep 18th, 2021


8 March

All schools – primary and secondary – will open from 8 March, despite opposition from the main teaching unions who have called for a staggered reopening. Schools will be allowed to restart outdoor sports matches as well as other outdoor activities.

Care home visits indoors will resume, including allowing residents to hold hands with visitors.

Rules will on socialising in a public space will be relaxed, meaning one person can sit down with another individual from outside their household or bubble for a coffee, drink or picnic.

29 March

The second part of the first phase of reopening will begin as schools break up for Easter holidays. Outdoor gatherings will be permitted for either up to six people – reinstating the rule of six – or two households. The new rule is designed to give greater flexibility for families to meet outside, where the risk of transmission is significantly lower.

Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis or basketball courts and golf course will reopen. Organised adult and children’s sport, such as grassroots football, can also return.

The government has said it hopes to vaccinate all adults over the age of 50 by 15 April.

Second phase – late April

The second phase will allow the reopening of some hospitality in limited circumstances, which could include serving outdoors only.

Non-essential retail is expected to reopen in April. Universities and colleges could get the green light to reopen campuses.


Third phase – middle of May

By mid-May, pubs and restaurants are likely to be allowed to open indoors, though there could still be limits on groups, and social distancing will be in place.

This phase is also most likely to be the time that hairdressers and beauticians reopen, though there may be further restrictions on very close contact treatments that were also slower to resume after the first lockdown.

The phase may also see families allowed to travel for short breaks around the UK, though with restrictions on household mixing.

Fourth phase

A further relaxation of social contact, likely to include some mixing indoors.

The health secretary, Matt Hancock, has said he is optimistic about summer holidays being permitted in the UK, so June could see restrictions lifted on the tourism sector.

Foreign holidays are likely to be highly dependent on the actions of other governments and the progress of international vaccination – as well as a desire by ministers to strictly limit the ability of new variants to enter the country.

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