He announced the following measures:
- All primary and secondary schools' pupils will go back, as well as Further Education. Twice weekly testing of secondary and college pupils. Outdoor after school sports and activities can restart.
- Students on university courses who would be unable to complete their courses if they did not return to take part in practical teaching, access specialist facilities or complete assessments will return. All others must continue learning online which will be reviewed at the end of the Easter holidays.
- One-on-one recreation in public spaces such as parks will be permitted, so two people can sit for a coffee, drink or picnic.
- Care residents can name one person who can visit them, provided they are tested and wear PPE.
- The rule of 6 will return outdoors, meaning up to six people from different households will be able to meet up outside, either in a public place or private garden. Two households of any size will also be allowed to meet up outside.
- Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis, golf or basketball will reopen. Organised adult and children's sports such as grassroots football can also return.
- The Government will drop its "stay at home" order.
- People should continue to work from home where they can.
The Prime Minister also set out four tests for the remaining easing of the lockdown:
- The vaccine program is continuing successfully.
- Data is showing the vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths.
- Infection rates do not risk putting unsustainable pressure on the NHS.
- The risk assessment is not changed by new Variants of Concern.
If these criteria are met, then the following will be opened at five-week intervals (an announcement will be made 7 days before proceeding to each stage):
No earlier than 12th April
- Non-essential retail re-open as well as personal care including hairdressers and nail salons.
- Gyms to open.
- Self-contained accommodation will reopen but people will only be able to stay with members of their households.
- Outdoor areas in pubs and restaurants will reopen with no curfew and no requirement for alcohol to accompanied by a meal.
- Zoos, drive-in cinemas, theme parks, museums and libraries will reopen
No earlier than 17th May
- Meetings outdoors will be lifted subject to a limit of 30, rule of 6 allowed indoors.
- Pubs and restaurants will open indoors.
- hotels, hostels, BnBs, theatres, concert halls will open.
- Sports stadiums, subject to capacity limits will open.
- The Government will pilot larger events with enhanced testing.
No earlier than 21st June
- Remove all legal limits on social contact, nightclubs opening.
Four reviews will also be carried out:
- How long we will need to maintain social distancing and facemasks, this will also look at working from home, which should continue.
- The resumption of international travel, this will report by the 12th April so people can plan for the summer.
- Covid-status certification in helping venues open safely, but it will be mindful of the many concerns around privacy, fairness etc.
- Return of large events
Explaining the reasoning behind the roadmap of out lockdown, the Prime Minister said:
- Both vaccines are effective, one dose of Pfizer reduces hospitalisations and deaths by 77%, early data shows that the Astra-Zeneca vaccines gives a good level of protection.
- No vaccine can be 100% effective, like all viruses it will mutate. We cannot escape the fact that lifting lockdown will lead to more cases and more deaths. This will happen whenever lockdown is lifted.
- There is no credible route to a zero-covid world, but we can’t have indefinite lockdowns.
- We aim to provide a first dose to every adult by the end of July. We will ease restrictions in all areas at the same time.
- At every stage our decisions will be led by data not date.
On supporting businesses, the Prime Minister said:
- We will extend the provision of free test kits for businesses until the end of June.
- For the duration of the pandemic the Government will do everything it can do to protect livelihoods and jobs.
He also notably said:
- We must remain alert to the constant mutations of the virus, next month we will publish a plan to how to respond to local outbreaks. We can’t rule out imposing local restrictions at a local level if a new variant arrives that escapes the vaccines.
- The vaccination programme has dramatically improved the odds in our favour, and it is on that basis that we can now proceed.
- I understand why people think we should go faster... but to them all I say today the end really is in sight, and a wretched year will give way to an incomparably better spring and summer.
The full guidance can be found here: