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UK Roadmap – what will happen and when

by Guy Murphy

The UK Government has published its roadmap for the easing of lockdown restrictions across the UK. With the number of cases falling and the vaccination programme continuing at pace, the government has been able to outline a phased return to ‘normality’.

Over the coming months, the UK will move through a series of steps with more restrictions being eased when it is safe to do so. Knowsley residents will need to continue to follow guidance during each step and measures such as washing hands, wearing a face mask and keep distance will continue to be embedded in everyday life.

The dates within the roadmap are only a guide and restrictions will only be eased when the data shows it is the right time to do so. This means that the roadmap is subject to change and will be constantly reviewed.

How will it be decided that it is okay to ease restrictions?

Before moving into the next phase of the roadmap, the Government will review the data available and what impact the previous easing of restrictions has had. This will be known as the four tests:

  • Vaccine programme continues successfully
  • Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
  • Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
  • Government assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern.

The Roadmap

Stage 1

Part 1 from 8 March

  • All schools and further education settings will open to all pupils for face to face learning (this will include breakfast and after school clubs)
  • Students studying courses at university that require practical assessments or learning can return (others will continue to learn remotely until a review at the end of Easter break)
  • Individuals will be allowed to meet one other person outdoors – not just for exercise (for example to meet in the park for a picnic). No household mixing is allowed indoors.
  • Attendance at funerals is 30 people, and weddings and wakes are 6 people

Part 2 from 29 March:

  • People will no longer be formally required to stay at home but should continue to work from home wherever possible and keep travel to a minimum (just locally and holidays are not allowed).
  • One household will be permitted to meet with another household, outdoors only
  • People will be permitted to meet outdoors – subject to the rule of 6
  • Outdoor sports such as tennis, golf etc will be allowed to begin
  • Outdoor parent and child groups are allowed with up to 15 parents
  • Each care home resident will be allowed to nominate one person to visit frequently (subject to testing and wearing PPE)
  • Some campaigning activity for the local elections will be allowed to commence.
  • All Extremely Clinically Vulnerable people will be advised to continue to shield until the end March.

Stage 2 – at least five weeks after Stage One and no earlier 12 April

  • Six people or two households will be able to meet up outdoors, including gardens. No indoor mixing allowed.
  • Indoor leisure, including gyms, will reopen for use individually or within household groups.
  • Outdoor attractions such as zoos, theme parks and drive-in cinemas can reopen.
  • Libraries and community centres can open.
  • All retail and personal care premises can reopen.
  • Hospitality venues can reopen with table service outdoors.
  • All children’s activities, and parent and child groups (up to 15 parents) can start up.
  • Domestic overnight stays, self-contained accommodation and caravan parks can reopen for households only.
  • Pilots will begin to explore the opening of large-scale events.
  • Funerals (up to 30 people in attendance), weddings and wakes (up 15 people in attendance will be permitted).

Stage 3 – at least five weeks after Stage Two and no earlier than 17 May

  • Up to 30 people will be able to meet up outdoors.
  • Subject to review up to six people or two households will be able to meet up indoors.
  • Indoor and entertainment and attraction can reopen.
  • Organised indoor adult sport can restart.
  • Most significant life events can take place with up to 30 attendees.
  • Remaining outdoor entertainment, including live music performances, can take place.
  • Subject to review international travel will restart.
  • Remaining accommodation can open.
  • Some large-scale events both indoor and outdoor can start up (capacity limits apply).
    • Indoor – 1,000 people or 50% capacity (whichever is lowest)
    • Outdoor – 4,000 people or 50% capacity (whichever is lowest)
    • Outdoor seated – 10,000 people or 25% capacity (whichever is lowest)

Stage 4 – at least five weeks after Stage three and no earlier than 21 June

  • No legal limits on social contact.
  • Nightclubs to reopen.
  • Larger events to start up.
  • No legal limit on life events.


Even as restrictions are lifted, it is essential that everyone continues to reduce the risk of transmission and follows the good habits currently embedded in our day to day lives. This means:

  • Washing hands frequently for at least 20 seconds.
  • Wear a face covering in enclosed environments.
  • Maintain space from anyone not in your household or support bubble
  • Meet with others outdoors where possible
  • Minimise the number of different people you meet and the duration of the meetings
  • Let fresh air in
  • Download the NHS Track and Trace app
  • Get tested if you have symptoms
  • Self-isolate if you have symptoms, test positive or are contacted by Track and Trace