Covid restrictions in England to be eased in March
Well for some.
Coronavirus restrictions are set to be eased in England from next month following the publication of the UK government's new Covid roadmap.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to announce the news today, setting out a "cautious" plan to ease the country out of strict lockdown in March.
The plan includes reopening all schools from the second week in March and increasing the number of people permitted to meet outdoors as the month progresses.
Johnson announced the roadmap on Twitter this morning, stating that the ease of restrictions will depend on the latest public health advice available.
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.
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) February 22, 2021
"Today I’ll be setting out a roadmap to bring us out of lockdown cautiously," he said.
"Our priority has always been getting children back into school which we know is crucial for their education and wellbeing. We'll 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."
From March 8, people living in England will be permitted to meet one other person outdoors. By the end of the month, this is set to be increased to groups of six and organised outdoor sports.
Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland are expected to release their own roadmaps for easing lockdown soon.
In Ireland, the news is not looking so promising as the country is due to remain in some sort of lockdown until at least May. Taoiseach Micheál Martin announced last week that there still needs to be further discussions before any decisions can be made on a roadmap out of lockdown.
"Schools are the priority and construction – a phased return to construction, particularly house-building – because we have a social crisis in terms of the availability of housing for people across all strata of society," he said.
"And, certainly, we are looking at a continuation of high levels of restrictions to the Easter period. That remains to be determined by Government; there will be further discussions.
"We have to get those numbers down, we have to relieve those pressures, not just in the short term but for a sustained period, and into the long term we don’t want that situation happening again in our hospitals."