Explaining the Government lockdown exit plan

Feb 24, 2021

Last Update 12.03.21

It’s already been almost a year since the UK first went into lockdown, but the end is in sight. The Government has recently released a roadmap of how restrictions might ease. Children are returning to school, and in Scotland and Wales, four people from two separate households can already meet up outside.

But what exactly is changing when?

We’ve compiled this handy breakdown of the important dates to help us keep track, but it's important to remember, this timeline is for if vaccinations keep rising and infections keep falling.

13th March

In Wales, "Stay at home" becomes "stay local". Four adults from two different households can meet up outdoors (with or without children), outdoor sports facilities can reopen, and care home residents can have one visitor.

15th March

In Wales, all ages of children and teenagers can return to school, and hairdressers can reopen for appointments.

In Scotland, all remaining primary school years will return and childcare provision will restart. Secondary school pupils will haev a staggered return prioritzing exam years S4-S6. Non contact group sports (ages 12-17) can resume outside.

18th March

Northern Ireland will review its current measures, though the lockdown has been extended to April 1st.

22nd March

In Wales, rules start easing around non-essential shopping and aisles in shops. Garden centres can reopen.

26th March

In Scotland, communal worship of up to 50 attendees (social distancing permitting) can start again.

27th March

In Wales, self-contained accommodation can reopen.

29th March

In England, people are still encouraged to stay local, though the stay at home rule ends. People can meet outside with another household or in the "rule of six". Golf courses, tennis and basketball courts, and other outdoor sport centres can reopen. Weddings can now have six or fewer attendees.

5th April

In Scotland, stay at home rules will lift and six people from two households can meet outdoors.

More shops can reopen and non-essential click-and-collect can resume.

12th April

In Wales, All shops, including all close-contact services, will be able to open

All pupils will return to school

In England, Stage II easing of restrictions begins. All shops and personal services such as salons allowed to reopen. Restaurants and pubs can resumer food and alcohol service to outdoor seating. Gyms, spas, zoos, theme parks, libraries, community centres, and self-catered accommodation can reopen. Families can holiday in the UK, and weddings can have 15 attendees.

26th April

Assuming priority groups 1-9 have been offered the vaccine, Scotland will return to a tiered system with local guidelines, eased travel restrictions, and the reopening of shops, hospitality, and other services.

17th May

Stage III begins in England. Groups of 30 can meets outdoors, and six people from two households can meet inside. Customers can be served inside pubs and restaurants. Life celebrations such as weddings and christenings can have 30 attendees. All outdoor entertainment that hasn’t yet opened can do so now. Indoor experiences like museums, cinemas, and theatre can open for tourism, performances, and events, with limits on audience numbers. All other accommodation can reopen and international travel can start again. Indoor groups, exercise, games, and sports can restart.

21st June

England enters Stage IV. Legal limits on social contact are lifted, including weddings and funerals, and nightclubs reopen.