ENGLAND’S FOUR-STEP LOCKDOWN EXIT PLAN
With vaccinations in the UK now rapidly approaching the 20 million mark and infection rates falling, the target for vaccinating all over-50s, who have accounted for 98% of Covid deaths, has been brought forward to April 15th with every person over 18 now expected to have been offered a jab by the end of July. Against the backdrop of this greatly encouraging trend, Monday 22nd February witnessed the Government’s announcement of the 4 step roadmap for the end of lockdown. There will be a minimum of five weeks between each stage and further progression will be subject to four conditions being met at each stage, i.e. the rate of progress of the vaccination roll-out, a reduction in the number of deaths from the virus or in those needing hospital treatment, no surge in hospital admission rates and no increase in the risk of lifting restrictions posed by any coronavirus variants. As the Prime Minister said, decisions made at each stage will be led by data and not dates.

The main features of the 4 steps are as follows: –

STEP 1  from 8th March
All students return to schools
Two people can meet in an outside space for a chat, not just for exercise
Care home residents will be allowed one regular named visitor
Funerals can be attended by 30 people – only 6 at wakes
Weddings can be attended by up to six people and can take place in any circumstances
Stay at Home rules still apply

from 29th March
Outdoor gatherings of either 6 people or two households allowed, including in private gardens
Outdoor sports and facilities such as football, golf, tennis, basketball and outdoor pools can recommence
Stay at Home rules end but people will be encouraged to stay local – no holidays permitted

STEP 2  from 12th April
Shops, hairdressers, beauty salons, gyms, indoor pools and certain outdoor venues such as zoos and theme parks reopen
Pubs and restaurants can serve people sitting outdoors
Libraries and community centres can reopen
UK staycations away from home allowed in self-contained accommodation if not shared with other households
Weddings and receptions can be attended by up to 15 people
Funerals can be attended by up to 30 people – only 15 at wakes
People should still work from home if possible
Overseas travel not permitted (except for exempt reasons such as work)

STEP 3  from 17th May
Up to six people or two households can meet indoors
Pubs and restaurants can reopen indoors
Cinemas, theatres, sports stadiums and some other venues can reopen with limits on capacity
Adult indoor sports and exercises classes can resume
Hotels and B&Bs can reopen to household groups
Weddings, funerals and other events such as christenings can be attended by 30 people
International travel can resume – subject to review

STEP 4  from 21st June
It is hoped all legal limits on social contact, including weddings, funerals, festivals and conferences will be removed and restrictions lifted on large events and performances

The rules on social distancing and wearing of face coverings remain in place until further notice.

For more details of all these measures please refer to the Government’s guidance from the Prime Minister’s Office which can be seen here: –
Prime Minister sets out roadmap to cautiously ease lockdown restrictions – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Keep safe and stay well and if you need help with shopping or prescriptions please contact
Fr. Peter Mallinson (Bury) 839057 or Ken & Diana Rowsell (West Burton) 831475