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On the 5th of April the Prime minister will give notice to confirm that Shops, Hairdressers, Gyms and outdoor hospitality will reopen on 12 April in England if strict conditions are met.

According to the BBC - up to six people from separate households could also be allowed to meet in beer gardens from that date.

The new four-step plan to ease lockdown could see all legal limits on social contact lifted by 21 June.

It requires four tests on vaccines, infection rates and new coronavirus variants to be met at each stage.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson told MPs the plan aimed to be "cautious but irreversible" and at every stage decisions would be led by "data not dates".

But he warned there was "no credible route to a zero-Covid Britain nor indeed a zero-Covid world".

It comes as the first data on the UK's coronavirus vaccine rollout suggests it is having a "spectacular" impact on stopping serious illness.

One step at a time...

As part of the first step of the plan for easing lockdown in England:

  • From 8 March - All schools will open, with outdoor after-school sports and activities allowed. Recreation in an outdoor public spaces - such as a park - will be allowed between two people, meaning they would be allowed to sit down for a coffee, drink or picnic.
  • From 29 March - Outdoor gatherings of either six people or two households will be allowed. It is understood this will include gatherings in private gardens. Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis or basketball courts will reopen and organised adult and children's sport, such as grassroots football, will also return.

Secondary school pupils can access tests and will be required to wear face coverings in classrooms and shared spaces like corridors.

From 12 April would see major parts of the economy permitted to reopen:

  • Non-essential retail opens, hairdressers and public buildings like libraries and museums.
  • Outdoor settings like alcohol takeaways, Pub gardens, zoos and theme parks.
  • Indoor leisure like swimming pools and gyms.
  • Self-contained holiday accommodation, such as self-catering lets and camp sites.

But wider social contact rules will continue to apply in all settings - meaning no indoor mixing between different households will be allowed.

The PM confirmed the end of hospitality curfews - and no longer the need to eat a substantial meal alongside drinking alcohol.

He said a review of international leisure travel restrictions would be announced by 12 April at the earliest.

Funerals continue with up to 30 people, and weddings with up to 15 guests.

From May 17th - if the data allows - and will see the "rule of six" abolished for outdoor gatherings, replaced with a limit of 30 people:

  • Two households can mix indoors - with the rule of six applied in hospitality settings like pubs.
  • Cinemas, hotels, performances and sporting events reopen - though social distancing remains.
  • Up to 10,000 spectators can attend the very largest outdoor seated venues like football stadiums.

Up to 30 people will be able to attend weddings, receptions, funerals and wakes.

This step could also "consider the potential role of Covid status certification" - which could refer to so-called "vaccine passports" - in helping indoor venues to reopen safely.

From 21 June
will potentially see all legal limits on social contact removed, with the final closed sectors of the economy reopened - such as nightclubs.

The government hopes that - from this date - restrictions on weddings and funerals will also be abolished.

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Published by Hinckley BID – 22/02/2021
Steve Wegerif 0770 939 4841 –

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