Next step of roadmap restriction lifting is confirmed

Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has today (April 5) confirmed that the next stage of restriction easing will go ahead on April 12.

From Monday 12 April additional premises will be able to reopen – with the rules on social contact applying. Indoor settings must only be visited alone or with household groups, with outdoor settings limited to either six people or two households.

  • This includes non-essential retail opening; personal care premises such as hairdressers, beauty and nail salons; and indoor leisure facilities such as gyms and spas (but not including saunas and steam rooms, which are due to open at Step 3).
  • Overnight stays away from home in England will be permitted and self-contained accommodation can also reopen, though must only be used by members of the same household or support bubble.
  • Public buildings such as libraries and community centres will also reopen.
  • The majority of outdoor settings and attractions can also reopen, including outdoor hospitality, zoos, theme parks, drive-in cinemas and drive-in performances events.
  • Hospitality venues will be able to open for outdoor service, with no requirement for a substantial meal to be served alongside alcohol, and no curfew. The requirement to eat and drink while seated will remain.
  • People should continue to work from home where they can and minimise domestic travel where they can. International holidays are still illegal.
  • Parent and child groups of up to 15 people (not counting children aged under five years old) can restart indoors.
  • Funerals can continue with up to 30 attendees. Weddings, outdoor receptions, and commemorative events including wakes will be able to take place with up to 15 attendees (in premises that are permitted to open).

Care home residents in England will be able to receive 2 visitors indoors from Monday 12 April as Covid restrictions continue to be cautiously eased.   Regular visits are being extended from one to 2 people under carefully designed conditions to prevent transmission of Covid-19. Visitors will be asked to provide a negative test result and wear PPE during the visit to keep themselves, staff and residents safe.

In the coming weeks, as testing capacity continues to increase, some visitors will be able to conduct tests at home, rather than at care homes, to help manage the flow of visitors and allow more visits to take place. Visitors who are parents will also be able to visit with babies and very young children, who will not count as one of the visitors.

The PM said: “We think these changes are fully justified by the data showing we are meeting the four tests for easing lockdown.

“But – and you know I’m going to say this – we can’t be complacent. We can see the waves of sickness afflicting other countries and we’ve seen how this story goes. We still don’t know how strong the vaccine shield will be when cases begin to rise, as I’m afraid that they will – and that’s why we’re saying please get your vaccine or your second dose when your turn comes.”

The PM also urged people to take advantage of the access to free covid tests launching for everyone in the country from April 9.

Early findings on four reviews on the safe return of major events, on social distancing, the potential role of Covid status certification, and on the resumption of international travel have also been published on the government website.

In Thanet the positive test rate per 100,000 people stands at 28.9 as of 31 March, below the UK rate of 44.

Reviews – early findings

COVID-Status Certification Review

COVID-status certification aims to provide reassurance that an individual is at reduced risk of transmission. This could allow mass events to admit more participants, increased passenger numbers and reduced border restrictions for travellers, and social distancing rules to be relaxed.

Other countries are developing their own certification systems, such as the “Green Pass” in Israel and the “digital green certificate” in the European Union. Negative tests are already required to enter the UK and many other countries and, as vaccination programmes roll out worldwide, countries have made clear they will soon require proof of vaccination in order to cross the border.

In the UK, businesses and other organisations are able to ask customers for proof of COVID-status in order to access their premises, as long as they are compliant with equalities legislation.

The Government says it will continue to explore the equity and ethical concerns bound up with any form of COVID-status certification. Vaccination is not suitable for all citizens and there are other means of demonstrating a reduced risk of transmission. The Government believes that COVID-status certification could be acquired through vaccinations, testing or natural immunity. It is also important that there are appropriate exemptions for people for whom vaccination is not advised and repeat testing is difficult.

The Government believes that there are some settings (such as essential public services, public transport and essential shops) where COVID-status certification should never be required, in order to ensure access for all.

Equally, COVID-status certification could potentially play a role in settings such as theatres, nightclubs, and mass events such as festivals or sports events to help manage risks where large numbers of people are brought together in close proximity. The Government will begin to trial COVID-status certification in certain settings, including large events, through the Events Research Programme.

It is possible that COVID-status certification could also play a role in reducing social distancing requirements in other settings which people tend to visit more frequently, for example in hospitality settings. However, the Government recognises this has significant implications for businesses and their customers, so this will be further considered in consultation with industry, as part of the review of social distancing rules

Certification will not be required for reopening as part of step 2 or step 3.

Certification has already become a feature of international travel, with the UK and many other countries requiring evidence of a negative test pre-departure as part of their border regimes.

Global Travel Taskforce

The Government hopes people will be able to travel to and from the UK to take a summer holiday this year, but it is still too soon to know what is possible.

The roadmap said that any return to international travel without a reasonable excuse, for example for holidays, would be no earlier than 17 May. Taking into account the latest situation with variants and the evidence about the efficacy of vaccines against them this may take longer.

When non-essential international travel does return it will do so with a risk-based “traffic light” system.

Countries will move between red, amber and green lists depending on the data. For the moment, the Government advises people not to book summer holidays abroad until the picture is clearer.

Events Research Programme

The Government will use the Events Research Programme, overseen by an industry-led steering group co-chaired by Sir Nicholas Hytner and David Ross and working closely with national and local public health authorities, to explore different approaches to social distancing, ventilation, test-on-entry protocols and COVID-status certification.

The Events Research Programme will carry out pilots in a series of venues to gather evidence on the transmission risks associated with different settings, and potential approaches to managing and mitigating transmission risks.

The Events Research Programme’s first phase of pilots includes:

  • Hot Water Comedy Club, Liverpool (16 April)
  • FA Cup Semi Final, Wembley Stadium (18 April)
  • World Snooker Championship, Crucible Theatre, Sheffield (17 April – 3 May)
  • Luna Cinema, Liverpool (23-25 April)
  • Mass participation run, Hatfield House, Hatfield (24-25 April)
  • Carabao Cup Final, Wembley Stadium (25 April)
  • ACC Business Event, Liverpool (28 April)
  • Circus Nightclub, Liverpool (30 April – 1 May)
  • FA Cup Final, Wembley Stadium (15 May)

Social Distancing Review

The Social Distancing Review is exploring whether existing rules, designed to limit virus transmission, could be relaxed in different settings. This work is developing the safest approach to allow closer social contact between friends and family, safely enable greater capacity on transport, and reduce distance requirements within venues and workplaces.

The review is looking at key baseline measures, including how and when to safely lift or amend the 1m+ rule and related COVID-secure measures, as well as guidance on working from home.

The extent of any relaxation in social distancing measures is linked to the questions being explored by the COVID-Status Certification Review

Prime Minister announces ‘cautious but irreversible’ roadmap out of covid restrictions

11 Comments

      • Thats fine for outdoors, my old mums 85, and im not making her sit out in the garden for a visit, as for pubs, i have zero interest in pubs sadly

          • Well aware of this, all this is a little bit crap, its a case of openign up all the non essential, allowing inside activity , which of course raises revenue, allowing all the kids back to school, but we cant pop in and visit a relative.. it’s a joke

  1. I think the basic idea is to stop the spread of the virus, and to protect the vulnerable. Most infection occurs in people’s homes, not at student raves. There might be a couple of hundred young people in an old warehouse whooping it up, but meanwhile there are 10s or 100s of thousands of “ordinary” people “just nipping next door for a cuppa”, or popping round “just for a few minutes” because it’s someone’s birthday.
    The PM has huge pressure from some of his back benches, the “Covid Recovery Group” and no doubt the airline and tourism industries to do all the things we really shouldn’t be doing.
    It would be a disaster if someone flying back from an exotic holiday brought back a strain of CV against which our vaccines didn’t work. We’d be back to this time last year.
    I’m sure that your mum has had her vaccinations, and that if you haven’t, you soon will have. It’s not too long to wait, and the meeting will be all the sweeter.
    I haven’t seen members of my family for over a year, and I’m so looking forward …

    • yes i have had the first and so has she, Boris is not doing a very good job full stop, all that wasted money on contracts for ppe that never happened, failed track and trace, and refusing to go to cobra meetings, all while allowing mass gatherings.. still im sure he is following scientific advise above the econemy

  2. What a charade which many good independent medical and scientific experts, and some honest politicians, are questioning world-wide. Extensive information on this away from the mainstream press with their Ofcom warnings to following the line of the government and their advisors. But some detailed info. in the mainstream last week on the immense harm of weaponised behavioural psychology used on the public with greatly exaggerated fear messages, and the subsequent mental health crisis and rise in suicide rates. And the adverse reactions and deaths from the vaax are not looking good according to the on-going data from the MHRA, EMA and CDC (thought to be about 1 to 10 percent of the fear figures). Many no longer believe any of it, or most politicians from any party (with a few notable exceptions calling out the absurdity of lockdowns and fascist would be passports controlling movement).

    • Would you tell us who the “many good independent medical and scientific experts” are?
      Would you give the actual data for “the adverse reactions and deaths from the vaax” and quote your sources?
      Apropos covid passports:
      Everyone (I imagine) wants some semblance of normality in their lives. Businesspeople certainly want the economy rolling again.
      At the moment, CV is still rampaging round our country, though currently things look better and better each day. So, businesses could open up with quite strict rules about social distancing, tracking and tracing, and no need to have a covid passport, alternatively, in the short term at least, a CV passport would show that an intending customer or patron was of no or very low risk, so business could flourish as normal.
      It is already the case that young people (students, for example) carry an age ID card to show that they are over 18 when buying alcohol. The use of this seems to present no problem to the business nor the bearer.

  3. I’m all for vaccination passports. How are they different from driving licences, bus passes, ordinary passports , library cards etc?

  4. People criticize covid passports as being discriminatory.
    That’s *exactly* what they are.
    They discriminate between those more likely and those less likely to kill you of Covid19.

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