Hospitality will reportedly have to wait until April before it can reopen under the prime minister’s new reopening roadmap.
Boris Johnson is set to unveil his roadmap of releasing England from its current restrictions later today (22 February) with confirmation that the first phase will see children return to schools from the 8 March.
As part of the first phase of four – people will also be allowed to meet with either up to six people or two households outdoors from the 29 March.
According to reports, hospitality is to be included in the second and third phases of the reopening plan with some pubs and restaurants allowed to open under limited circumstances such as outdoor only.
It is then thought that the third stage – reportedly scheduled for mid May – could see pubs and restaurants finally allowed to serve customers indoors with social distancing measures still in place.
A fourth phase will eventually see some mixing indoors with possible relaxation of restrictions on the tourism industry.
The government has confirmed each of the stages will be conditional under the passing of four tests:
- 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
Johnson said: “Today I’ll be setting out a roadmap to bring us out of lockdown cautiously. Our priority has always been getting children back into school which we know is crucial for their education as well as their mental and physical wellbeing, and we will also be prioritising ways for people to reunite with loved ones safely.
“Our decisions will be made on the latest data at every step, and we will be cautious about this approach so that we do not undo the progress we have achieved so far and the sacrifices each and every one of you has made to keep yourself and others safe.”