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England to move to Step 2 of lockdown easing roadmap on 12 April

England to move to Step 2 of lockdown easing roadmap on 12 April

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed that England will move to Step 2 of its lockdown easing roadmap on schedule next week.

As a result, the following venues will be allowed to reopen from 12 April;

  • Reopening of all retail and personal care outlets
  • Reopening of outdoor hospitality
  • Reopening of libraries and community centres
  • Reopening of most outdoor attractions
  • Reopening of indoor leisure centres, gyms and pools for individual use only
  • Self-contained accommodation reopen

In addition, children's activities and team sports for under 18s will be able to resume, subject to COVID-safe measures being in place. Weddings, wakes and receptions will also be allowed to take place for 15 people and event pilots will start up again ahead of the summer.

Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty confirmed that the UK Government's four tests to easing lockdown measures were continuing to be met. The tests, which were first outlined by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in February include;

  • The vaccine deployment 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 would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
  • Assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern

The announcements on the easing of lockdown measures only apply to England, with the devolved administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland having their own separate plans for the easing of restrictions.

Coronavirus case rates have continued to fall in England since the implementation of a third national lockdown in January, and also since the reopening of schools and some easing of social contact restrictions last month. Before the Bank Holiday weekend, England's 7-day coronavirus case rate was around 44 cases per 100,000 people - the lowest level in over 6 months.

The UK's vaccination programme has also continued at pace, with more than 31.5 million people having been vaccinated against COVID-19 in the UK to date.

Provided continued progress in tackling the pandemic and the continual meeting of the four tests, the government is hoping to ease more restrictions from 17 May, including the reopening of most indoor hospitality venues.

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