England is set to remove all legal limits on people’s social contact by 21 June, the prime minister has announced.
After schools reopen on 8 March, with some outdoor restrictions lifted by 29 March, Boris Johnson said the next step will be to reopen beer gardens and hairdressers in England on 12 April.
Setting out his roadmap for easing England’s third COVID-19 lockdown, Mr Johnson told MPs that the dates in his four-stage plan were not set in stone and were the earliest possible point at which the restrictions could be lifted.
Nevertheless, the PM has now provided full details of his long-awaited plan that foresees a significant return to normality in four months. Key dates include:
• 12 April: Non-essential retail, hairdressers, nail salons, gyms and outdoor areas in hospitality venues (such as beer gardens) set to reopen – along with libraries, museums, zoos and theme parks. Self-contained accommodation will reopen, but people will only be able to stay with members of their household
• 17 May: Pubs, restaurants, cinemas, hotels, B&Bs and children’s play areas set to open their doors once more, with fans allowed back into sporting events. Most rules on social contact outdoors will be lifted, while mixing of different households will be allowed indoors. Up to 30 people will be allowed at weddings, funerals, wakes, receptions and christenings
• 21 June: All legal limits on social contact set to be removed, with the remaining sectors of the economy reopened. Weddings are the only events where some restrictions may have to remain
Mr Johnson has already confirmed that all pupils will return to the classroom on 8 March.
Outdoor recreation with one other person will also be allowed from that date, meaning people can sit together in a park with a coffee, drink or picnic.
From 29 March, larger groups will be able to meet outside – including in private gardens – up to a maximum of six people or two households.
Tennis courts, golf courses and other outdoor sport facilities will also reopen on 29 March, which is the first Monday of the Easter holidays for most schools.