22nd February, 2021
Schools, primary and secondary in England will now reopen on 8 March, Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said.
The announcement was made ahead of Prime Minister Boris Johnson unfolding of the road map to easing the COVID-19 lockdown.
School re-opening is top of the four-stage “roadmap”.
Here is what Johnson will announce later today:
The first stage of the “roadmap” may be divided into two parts, and the UK prime minister will say that all schools – primary and secondary – will open in the country as of 8 March.
Schools will be allowed to restart outdoor sports matches and other outdoor activities, with each and every child expected to be tested for COVID-19 before they return.
Also on 8 March, care home residents will be allowed to receive a single visitor, who is obliged to get a coronavirus test before entering and wear personal protective equipment.
In the Monday speech, Johnson may also announce that 29 March will see the removal of the “stay at home” restrictions and the return of the “rule of six” that allows six people from up to six different households to get together outside.
From March 28, outdoor sports facilities, including tennis and basketball courts and golf courses are due to reopen. Both adults and children will be free to play outdoor sports, such as grassroots football.
With government sources mostly keeping mum about the details of the later stages of the “roadmap”, media reports suggested that April may see the reopening of non-essential shops and some hospitality facilities in limited circumstances.
Also in April, pubs and restaurants may be allowed to open outside, and universities are expected to get the greenlight from the government to have students return.
Middle of May
In mid-May, pubs and restaurants will likely be allowed to open their doors completely, with limits on groups and social distancing, however, in place.
The third stage may also see the reopening of hairdressers and beauty salons, while families will be allowed to travel for short breaks across Britain amid restrictions on household gatherings.
In June, restrictions on the tourism sector could be lifted and foreign holidays for UK citizens will likely depend on how effective the vaccine rollout in Britain and beyond will be by then.