ALL Covid-19 restrictions could finally be lifted by June 21 as part of a four-stage plan announced by Boris Johnson.

The Prime Minister told MPs the approach was “cautious but also irreversible”, with the impact of the vaccination programme replacing the need for lockdown measures.

The plan details when shops, pubs, restaurants and services such as hair and beauty will return on top of the much-anticipated date for the return of schools.

Here are the key dates.


  • All pupils expected to return to school with the use of face masks and testing in secondary education settings.
  • Socialising in parks and public spaces with one other person will also be permitted.
  • All care home residents will be able to receive regular visits from one nominated person, who will be tested and wear PPE.
  • These visitors will be allowed to hold hands with their friend or relative but will be asked not to hug or kiss them.
  • Funerals can be attended by 30 people and weddings by six people.
  • The general advice remains to stay at home.


  • Larger groups of up to six people or two households allowed to gather in parks and gardens without mixing indoors.
  • Outdoor sport and leisure facilities, including organised outdoor sport for children and adults, can restart, as can outdoor parent and child groups for up to 15 parents.

The rest of the dates will depend on tests in four key areas – the success of the vaccine rollout, evidence of the vaccine working, an assessment of new variants and keeping infection rates below a level that could build pressure on the NHS.


If all goes to plan, non-essential shops, hairdressers, nail salons, libraries, outdoor attractions such as zoos, theme parks and drive-in cinermas and outdoor hospitality venues such as beer gardens could reopen from April 12 at the earliest.

MAY 17

Continued success would mean two households or groups of up to six people will be allowed to mix indoors and crowds of up to 10,000 in the largest venues will be allowed at performances and sporting events from May 17 at the earliest.

That could also be the date friends and family are finally allowed to hug each other again, with the road map promising advice on social distancing will be updated “as soon as possible” and no later than step three.


All remaining restrictions on social contact could be lifted from June 21, with larger-scale events set for the go ahead alongside the reopening of nightclubs.


The prime minister acknowledged “the threat remains substantial” with the numbers in hospital only now beginning to fall below the peak of the first wave in April.

Modelling by the Sage scientific advisory panel showed “we cannot escape the fact that lifting lockdown will result in more cases, more hospitalisations and sadly more deaths”.

“And this would happen whenever lockdown is lifted – whether now or in six or nine months – because there will always be some vulnerable people who are not protected by the vaccines,” he continued.

“There is therefore no credible route to a zero Covid Britain, or indeed, a zero Covid world and we cannot persist indefinitely with restrictions that debilitate our economy, our physical and mental wellbeing and the life chances of our children.”


Alongside the four-step plan, there will be a series of reviews – including on whether people should be able to show if they have had a Covid-19 vaccine or a negative test.

The work will look at whether “Covid status certification” could help reopen the economy by allowing people who have received a jab or a negative test result to do things which would not be allowed for those who could not prove their status.

Officials recognise that there are moral and ethical questions as well as practical ones for any such move, which has been highly controversial in Westminster.

A research programme will use pilot schemes involving testing and other measures to run events with larger crowd sizes.

International travel rules will also be reviewed, with May 17 targeted as the earliest possible date for a foreign holiday.

A further piece of work to conclude by June 21 will examine social distancing requirements, the use of face masks and requirements to work from home.

The measures are expected to be put to a Commons vote before the House rises for Easter in late March.