U.K.’s Timeline Out of Lockdown: When the Rules Can Be Relaxed


Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled the U.K.’s road map out of its third coronavirus lockdown, charting a gradual reopening based on scientific data to make sure the restrictions don’t have to be reimposed.

“The threat remains substantial,” Johnson told the House of Commons Monday. “But we’re able to take these steps because of the resolve of the general public and the enormous success of the NHS,” the state-run health service.

Johnson’s blueprint applies to England, while Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are setting out their own timetables. Here’s the plan:

Before March 8

  • Government to put new rules before Parliament laying out the easing of restrictions to take place on March 8

March 8

  • All children and students to return to schools and colleges in England, as well as after-school and before-school clubs
  • Two adults from different households will be allowed to meet outdoors for a coffee or to sit down on park bench: until now, this has only been allowed for exercise
  • Care home residents to be allowed one regular, named visitor

Before March 29

  • Government to put to a vote in Parliament new regulations setting out relaxations outlined below

March 29

  • Two families of any size can meet outdoors, including in private gardens, as can a maximum of six people if they come from more then two households
  • Outdoor sports and activities such as tennis, golf and grassroots football can resume
  • Stay at home order to end, with government messaging changing to “stay local”
  • People still encouraged to work from home where possible; overseas holidays still banned

April 12 at earliest

  • Non-essential retail to reopen, as well as personal care premises such as hairdressers and nail salons
  • Global travel task force to report on ambition to facilitate greater U.K. inbound and outbound travel
  • Public buildings such as libraries and museums reopen
  • Most outdoor attractions, including zoos and theme parks to reopen
  • Wider social contact rules apply in all of those settings: people can only attend with members of their own household to indoor venues
  • Indoor leisure facilities such as gyms and pools to reopen
  • Hospitality to reopen for outdoor service only. Public can attend in line with rules allowing for two families of any size or 6 people from more than 2 households
  • No curfews on hospitality, and alcohol can be served without food, unlike in the previous easing. Customers will have to be seated when they order food or drink
  • Self-contained accommodation such as campsites and holiday lets to re-open so long as there aren’t indoor facilities shared with other households
  • Funerals can continue with up to 30 people
  • Attendance at weddings, wakes rises from 6 to 15


  • Government target for offering vaccines to all the over-50s

During April

  • Government runs events research program, including pilots using testing an other measures to run events with larger crowd sizes and reduced social distancing

May 17 at earliest

  • The earliest date at which foreign travel can resume, pending review
  • Most outdoor social contact rules lifted, but gatherings of more than 30 people in parks and gardens will remain illegal
  • Indoor mixing allowed for two households of any size or 6 people from more than two households
  • Indoor hospitality, hotels and bed and breakfasts reopen, with two households ox people allowed to mix
  • Entertainment venues such as cinemas and children’s play areas re-open, and indoor sports groups and exercise classes can resume
  • Indoor performances and sporting events can host crowds of up to 1,000 people or be half-full, whichever is lower
  • Outdoor venues and sporting events can host crowds of 4,000 or be half-full, whichever is lower. The largest outdoor venues, such as the biggest soccer stadiums, can host 10,000 people or be a quarter full, whichever is lower
  • Up to 30 people can attend weddings, receptions, wakes, funerals and other life events such as bar mitzvahs and christenings

Before June 21

  • Review to report on whether Covid status certification can play a role in reducing restrictions on social contact and reopening the economy
  • Review to report on social distancing measures, including on use of face masks, working from home

June 21 Earliest

  • All limits on social contact to be lifted
  • Final sectors of the economy, such as night clubs, allowed to reopen
  • Restrictions lifted on large events and performances
  • Restrictions lifted on attendance to weddings and other life events

End of July

  • Government target for offering vaccines to all adults

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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