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Lockdown extension: Coronavirus roadmap delayed

The Government has released a roadmap that outlines how coronavirus restrictions could be lifted. We've outlined the roadmap below to help you understand what it means for you.   

When will lockdown end?

From 19 July we entered the final stage of the lockdown roadmap - Step 4 - which means all lockdown restrictions have been lifted. But how was this decision made?

The roadmap to come out of lockdown has been based on scientific data and consisted of 4 steps. It began on 12 March and continued over the next few months as lockdown restrictions were gradually lifted. This happened across England at the same time. 

There were at least 5 weeks between each step. Before each new step of the roadmap, the Government reviewed the latest data and decided whether this data supported the further lifting of restrictions.

This review consisted of 4 tests:

  1. The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully.
  2. Evidence supports that the vaccine programme is effective enough in reducing the number of people that have received a vaccine being admitted to hospital and the number of people dying. 
  3. The rates of infection don't risk hospitalisation at a level that will put too much pressure on the NHS.
  4. New variants don't fundamentally change the Government's assessment of possible lockdown lifting. 

Coronavirus roadmap: Step 4 (19 July)

The dates outlined are subject to change when assessed by the Government. 


19 July.

What's changing?

  • All limits on social contact will be removed.
  • All remaining business and large events, such as theatre performances, will be allowed. 
  • There will be no restrictions on the number of people that can attend weddings and other ceremonial events. 

Worried about variants in your area?

If you live in an area where a new variant is spreading, you're advised to take extra precautions to stop the spread. This includes things such as getting tested regularly and meeting outdoors rather than indoors where possible.

Read more about these extra precautions and find out if you live in an affected area


Coronavirus roadmap: Step 3 (17 May)

The dates outlined are subject to change when assessed by the Government. 


No earlier than 17 May.

What's changing?

  • You will be able to meet indoors with people from different households in groups no bigger than 6 or, in groups bigger than 6 if they're made up of no more than 2 households. 
  • You will be able to meet outdoors in groups of no more than 30 people.
  • All indoor hospitality, including restaurants and pubs, can open.
  • All remaining outdoor entertainment can open.
  • All indoor entertainment such as museums, cinema and children's play areas can open.
  • All remaining accommodation such as hotels, hostels and B&Bs can open.
  • All indoor group sports and exercises classes will be allowed.
  • Some large events, such as theatre and concert performances, sporting events and conferences will be allowed. Indoor events will be capped at 1,000 people or 50% of capacity, whichever is lower. Outdoor events will be capped at 4,000 people of 50% of capacity, whichever is lower. 
  • Up to 30 people will be able to attend weddings, receptions and commemorative events such as wakes. Christenings and bar mitzvahs will also be allowed. 

Coronavirus roadmap: Step 2 (12 April)

The dates outlined are subject to change when assessed by the Government.


No earlier than 12 April.

What's changing?

  • Non-essential retail can open.
  • Hairdressers, salons and similar personal care services can open.
  • Indoor leisure facilities such as gyms and swimming pools can open.
  • Public buildings such as libraries and community centres can open.
  • Restaurants and pubs can open but only for outdoor service.
  • You will be able to stay away overnight in England with people in your household in self-contained accommodation (no shared facilities). 
  • Up to 15 people will be able to attend weddings, receptions and commemorative events such as wakes.
  • Outdoor attractions such as zoos, theme parks and drive-in cinemas can open.

Coronavirus roadmap: Step 1 (March)

Step 1 has been broken down into 2 parts. The dates outlined are subject to change when assessed by the Government.


No earlier than 8 March.

What's changing?

  • You can meet 1 person from another household outdoors for social purposes, as well as for exercise. So you can grab a coffee, for example. You must still socially distance. 
  • Every care home resident will be able to nominate a single, named visitor who can visit regularly. The visitor will have to take a coronavirus test and wear PPE when they visit. 
  • All schools and colleges will be opened and face-to-face teaching can continue. Anyone at university that relies on practical teaching is also able to return.


No earlier than 29 March.

What's changing?

  • You can meet up outside with people in groups of a maximum of 6 people from different households OR you can meet in groups of more than 6 but only where it is from 2 households. This will be in all outdoor settings, including private gardens. You must still socially distance from those not in your household or support bubble.
  • Outdoor sports facilities can reopen, this includes tennis, basketball courts and outdoor swimming pools. Formally organised outdoor sports will be allowed too.

In the meantime...

As lockdown restrictions are lifted, we will need to continue to follow guidance to make sure this roadmap is effective and possible. 

We've got plenty of information about the current guidance:

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Last updated: Dec 16 2021

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