Boris Johnson will set out his roadmap this afternoon in Parliament and again this evening from Downing Street, the addresses being the most hotly anticipated since the pandemic started.
A broad picture of what to expect has already been set alongside two key caveats, caution and sustainability.
There will be four key timelines set and we expect them to be as follows…
Four key reopening timelines – March
Schools in England will reopen from 8 March.
There have been many calls for this to be more gradual but Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi speaking this morning on Sky News confirmed all schools in England will open from 8 March.
People will be allowed to visit relatives in care homes. Numbers of visitors are less clear, as are other conditions around the visits, but care home doors will be opened.
Socialising outdoors in public spaces will be allowed but restricted initially in early March to only two people at a time that are not in the same bubble already.
In late March freedom to socialise outdoors in public spaces this will increased with outdoor gatherings permitted for up to six people. This comes from existing data showing that the risk of transmission is significantly lower outdoors, and newer vaccination data now confirming decreasing transmission rates, especially in outdoor settings.
March will also see some outdoor sports resume and golf courses in England reopen alongside grassroots football towards the end of the month.
Four key reopening timelines – April
In line with the governments ‘phased’ approach and emphasis on a data driven roadmap, much of April will see analysis of March data dictating acceleration or braking applied to the roadmap.
There could be good news for hospitality with late April seeing the first stage of reopening, but limited to outdoors only.
Late April is also when non-essential retail is anticipated to begin reopening.
At the same time universities and colleges are expected to start welcoming back students.
Four key reopening timelines – May
The middle of May is when hospitality can expect to be given a green light to reopen seeing restaurants and pubs allowed to serve customers indoors. This is likely to be with social distancing and other guidelines akin to last year’s.
The same timeline, and possibly stricter guidelines for reopening are expected for hairdressers and beauticians
Less clear is the timeline for holiday breaks, late May could see travel allowed for short breaks, but the distance of travel will be limited to within England initially. This could be opened to further afield in the UK dependant upon liaison with the devolved governments of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Four key reopening timelines – June July
The government is ‘optimistic’ that domestic summer holidays will be possible. Devolved governments will hold the keys to which counties. This is an area that the government scientific advisors are most reticent over, as the recent spat between Boris Johnson and Professor Chris Whitty highlighted.
Foreign summer holidays are unlikely as they are reliant on international vaccination programmes being on par with England’s. Scientists and government ministers are understood to be wary of previously unseen Covid variants entering the country and undoing progress.
The government currently aims to have all adults over 50 vaccinated by 15 April and reports being ahead of this target. The successful rollout of vaccines being the foundation of progress.
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Hospitality & Catering News: Four key reopening timelines set for today’s roadmap. – 22 February 2021 – Four key reopening timelines set for today’s roadmap.
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