'Roadmap' out of lockdown: when can you meet your family again?
Today Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a ‘roadmap’ that details when lockdown measures could be lifted in England and certain things will be allowed again.
The plan, which is divided into four ‘steps’ spread between March and June, will see a staggered rollback of lockdown measures, with more freedom to socialise and travel with each one.
A key thing most people will be wanting to know is what rules will be changing around meeting family members, and when will they change.
With the goal being all restrictions liften by June 21, meeting family members will become easier as time goes on.
The first relaxation is due to come on March 8, and by this time everyone in the top four vaccine priority cohorts – as determined by the independent JCVI – will have received the first dose of their vaccine and developed the necessary protection from it.
On March 8, the Stay at Home requirement will remain, but people can leave home for recreation outdoors such as a coffee or picnic with their household or support bubble, or with one person outside their household.
Care home residents will be allowed one regular visitor provided they are tested and wear PPE.
As part of step one, there will be further limited changes from 29 March, the week in which most schools will break up for Easter. Outdoor gatherings of either 6 people or 2 households will be allowed, providing greater flexibility for families to see each other. This includes in private gardens.
At this point, the Stay at Home order will end and you can travel to meet family.
From April 12, most outdoor attractions and hospitality businesses can open, and you can see family there as long as your socialising falls within the rules already mentioned.
Self-contained accommodation, such as holiday lets, where indoor facilities are not shared with other households, can also reopen.
Funerals can continue with up to 30 people, and the numbers able to attend weddings, receptions and commemorative events such as wakes will rise to 15 (from 6).
By May 17, outdoors, most social contact rules will be lifted - although gatherings of over 30 people will remain illegal.
The Government also said that by Step 3, or sooner, it would review the guidance on physical contact, including hugging family members.
Indoors the rule of 6 or 2 households will apply - although the Government will keep under review whether it is safe to increase this.
Indoor hospitality, entertainment venues such as cinemas and soft play areas, the rest of the accommodation sector, and indoor adult group sports and exercise classes will also reopen.
And from May 17, up to 30 people will be able to attend weddings, receptions and wakes, as well as funerals. Other life events that will be permitted include bar mitzvahs and christenings.
In the fourth phase, on June 21, it is hoped all legal limits on social contact can be removed.
The roadmap, which has now been published on gov.uk, outlines four steps for easing restrictions. Before proceeding to the next step, the Government will examine the data to assess the impact of previous steps.
This assessment will be based on four tests.