From 8 March, people in England will see restrictions start to lift and the government’s four-step roadmap offer a route back to a more normal life.
In Step 1, the priority is to ensure that all children and students return safely to face-to-face education in schools and colleges.. Twice-weekly rapid testing for secondary and college pupils – in addition to regular testing for all teachers – will be introduced.
Students at English universities on practical courses can also return from 8 March.
People will be allowed to leave home for recreation and exercise outdoors with their household or support bubble or with one person from outside their household. Care home residents will also be allowed one regular visitor.
From 29 March, outdoor gatherings (including in private gardens) of either 6 people (the Rule of 6) or 2 households will also be allowed, making it easier for friends and families to meet outside.
Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts, and open-air swimming pools, will also be allowed to reopen, and people will be able to take part in formally organised outdoor sports. The ‘stay at home’ rule will end on 29 March but many restrictions will remain in place. People should continue to work from home where they can and minimise the number of journeys they make where possible, avoiding travel at the busiest times and routes. Travel abroad will continue to be prohibited, other than for a small number of permitted reasons. Holidays abroad will not be allowed.