Boris Johnson's Covid-19 roadmap: When can I see friends and family?

Ross Houston
February 26, 2021

Some members of his own Conservative Party have complained that the roadmap does not remove restrictions fast enough, while some scientists have expressed scepticism about whether it would in fact be possible to remove all restrictions from June 21.

Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove will lead the review.

And he said Chancellor Rishi Sunak's Budget next week will be a "Budget for jobs and to protect people throughout the pandemic and beyond", amid calls to extend the financial packages.

But genuinely, because of the vast possibilities now of the vaccination rollout, because science has given us this way of creating a whole shield around our population, we can really look at that June 21 date with some optimism.

The UK government is examining the issue of whether or not to issue so-called vaccine passports, to show who has been vaccinated but Johnson stressed on Tuesday that the idea involved "deep and complex" considerations.

"Or some people may generally refuse to have one, I think that's mistaken, I think everybody should have a vaccine but we need to thrash all this out".

Johnson said the fast start to the vaccine rollout plus a sharp fall in infections now allowed him to set out a cautious easing of England's tough national lockdown, which started on January 5.

"And that actually poses a real risk that we are not capturing now in those models - if we do get these pockets of infection then it could be that actually we could have a more significant risk". That's why it's so important to proceed in the cautious way that we are. But it's absolutely on all of us to come forward and get the vaccine. So do the right thing and sign it.

However, shops will not re open until 12 April at the earliest.

How is the Government reaching its decisions over easing restrictions?

In the first step of England's road map, all pupils are expected to return to class from March 8, with wider use of face masks and testing in secondaries.

It means from next month all schools can return, people can socialise in parks and public spaces with another person, and some sports can also make a comeback.

A Number 10 spokesman said: "It's going to need an worldwide consensus to be built on how to allow for greater foreign travel, and that's why we're going to try and do that via the G7, and through other sort of multilateral discussions, because ... it will be for different countries to determine their own regimes in relation to the quarantine and who they want to allow in, and we want to try and work together to get some sort of global framework".

But progressing along the schedule will depend on meeting four tests: the success of the vaccine rollout, evidence of vaccine efficacy, an assessment of new variants, and keeping infection rates below a level that could put unsustainable pressure on the NHS.

Let's run through the provisional dates for each of the four steps of unlocking lockdown.

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