Government has published its ‘Roadmap out of lockdown’ which outlines the planned reopening of many businesses from 12 April 2021.
Restrictions will be eased in four steps:
- All children and students can return to face-to-face education in schools and colleges from 8 March.
- Childcare and children’s supervised activities can also resume where necessary.
- Higher Education students at English universities on practical courses can also return from 8 March.
- The ‘stay at home’ rule will end on 29 March but many restrictions will remain in place.
It is proposed the following businesses will be able to reopen from 12 April 2021 (dates are indicative and subject to change):
- Non-essential retail.
- Personal care premises such as hairdressers and nail salons
- Hospitality venues will be allowed to serve people outdoors at Step 2 and there will be no need for customers to order a substantial meal with alcoholic drinks and no curfew, although customers must order, eat and drink while seated (‘table service’). Wider social contact rules will apply in all these settings to prevent indoor mixing between different households.
- 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)
- Most outdoor attractions and settings including outdoor hospitality venues, zoos, theme parks, and drive-in cinemas.
- Self-contained accommodation such as campsites and holiday lets, where indoor facilities are not shared with other households, can also reopen.
- While funerals can continue with up to 30 mourners, the number of people able to attend weddings, receptions and commemorative events such as wakes will rise to 15.
Monday 17 May 2021 will see most businesses in all but the highest risk sectors able to reopen.
- In all sectors, COVID-secure guidance will remain in place and businesses may not cater for groups bigger than the legal limits.
- Indoor hospitality will reopen – as in Step 2, venues will not have to serve a substantial meal with alcoholic drinks; nor will there be a curfew. Customers will, however, have to order, eat and drink while seated.
- Other indoor locations to open up in Step 3 include indoor entertainment venues such as museums, galleries, cinemas and children’s play areas; the rest of the accommodation sector, including hotels, hostels and B&Bs; and indoor adult group sports and exercise classes.
- The government will also allow some larger performances and sporting events in indoor venues with a capacity of 1,000 people or half-full (whichever is a lower number), and in outdoor venues with a capacity of 4,000 people or half-full (whichever is a lower number). In the largest outdoor seated venues, where crowds can be spread out, up to 10,000 people will be able to attend (or quarter-full, whichever is lower).
- Up to 30 people will be able to attend weddings, receptions and wakes, as well as funerals. This limit will also apply to other types of significant life events including bar mitzvahs and christenings.
On Monday 14 June government announced a four-week pause at Step 3. Step 3 restrictions remain in place, and businesses should follow the current guidance.
It is expected that England will move to Step 4 on 19 July, though the data will be reviewed after two weeks in case the risks have reduced. The government will continue to monitor the data and the move to Step 4 will be confirmed one week in advance.
At that point, the government hopes to be in a position to remove all legal limits on social contact.
- Remaining premises can reopen, including nightclubs, and restrictions on large events and performances that apply in Step 3 can be eased.