It’s a date!

Ann kindly forwarded this, the last paragraph being relevant.

The Roadmap steps

Step 1

Figure 9: Step 1

Step 1: 8 March

  • Schools and colleges are open for all students. Practical Higher Education Courses.
  • Recreation or exercise outdoors with household or one other person. No household mixing indoors.
  • Wraparound childcare.
  • Stay at home.
  • Funerals (30), wakes and weddings (6)

29 March

  • Rule of 6 or two households outdoors. No household mixing indoors.
  • Outdoor sport and leisure facilities.
  • Organised outdoor sport allowed (children and adults).
  • Minimise travel. No holidays.
  • Outdoor parent & child groups (up to 15 parents).

On the basis of the Government’s assessment of the current data against the four tests, Step 1 can proceed. Step 1 will start with schools on 8 March, and include some further limited changes on 29 March to allow families to meet outdoors as most schools break up for the Easter holidays. By the time Step 1 begins, those aged 70 and over and the clinically extremely vulnerable (JCVI cohorts 1 to 4) will have received protection from their first dose of the vaccine.

From 29 March there is an opportunity for some further limited changes as part of Step 1, as most schools start to break up for the Easter holidays.

By then, the lockdown will have been in place for twelve weeks, during which time people will have been unable to see their extended family and friends or spend much time outside the home. At this point, the Government will enable people to meet up in limited numbers outdoors, where they are less likely to catch the virus or pass it on.

People will be able to meet outside in groups up to a maximum of 6 people (the Rule of 6) or with one other household, though people from different households will still need to socially distance from each other. This will apply in all outdoor settings, including private gardens. Applying either limit provides greater flexibility, recognising the different situations faced by families and individuals; two households will be more helpful for families, while the Rule of 6 is likely to help people in different households to reunite outdoors, including those living alone or in shared accommodation. Those eligible to form a support bubble will still be able to do so, enabling close contact for many of those in most need of support, and will continue to be counted as part of the same household.

Guidance will set out how people can see others safely: the evidence is clear that this is safest to do in the open air, at a safe distance, while minimising the frequency of social gatherings and the numbers present wherever possible. It will remain critical – with most people still unprotected by vaccines – that people continue to follow the guidance, use common sense and socially distance from other households.

The Government will also allow outdoor sports facilities to reopen, broadening the options for outdoor exercise and recreation. These facilities, such as tennis and basketball courts, and swimming pools, can be used by people in line with the wider social contact limits. Formally organised outdoor sports – for adults and under 18s – can also restart and will not be subject to the gatherings limits, but should be compliant with guidance issued by national governing bodies.

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