SHOPS, pubs and restaurants are set to be allowed to reopen in the next lockdown roadmap stage on April 12.
Last week, restrictions were eased slightly allowing groups of six or two households to meet outside, as well as the opening of some businesses.
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It came after students returned to England schools on March 8.
The roadmap out of lockdown is dependent on coronavirus cases remaining under control and the vaccine rollout staying on target.
See our box below for the four key tests the government must pass before each key date.
If all goes to plan, non-essential retail will reopen from mid-April at the earliest, along with pubs and restaurants which can offer outdoor table service and takeaways pints.
A number of other businesses will be allowed to reopen too – below we explain all you need to know.
What four tests does the gov need to pass before the next stage of restrictions is eased?
1. The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully.
2. Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated.
3. Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS.
4. Our assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern.
Businesses reopening on April 12
A number of businesses will be allowed to welcome back customers from April 12, these include:
- Clothing shops
- Homeware shops
- Toy shops
- Vehicle showrooms (other than for rental)
- Betting shops
- Tobacco and vape shops
- Electronic goods shops
- Mobile phone shops
- Auction houses (except for auctions of livestock or agricultural equipment)
- Market stalls selling non-essential goods
At the moment these businesses are only allowed to fulfil home deliveries and offer click and collect.
Essential shops have been open throughout lockdown and that's because they sell important goods like food, medicines and DIY items for home repairs.
Other businesses that are expected to reopen on April 12 include:
- Pubs (outdoor service only)
- Restaurants (outdoor service only)
- Gyms (indoor exercising – but no classes)
- Beauty salons
- Theme parks
- Drive-in cinemas
- Drive-in performances
- Community centres
Brits wanting to cut their lockdown locks will have to wait another week until April 12 for hairdressers and barbers to reopen.
Other personal care facilities that are set to welcome customers back on this date include salons and spas – but steam rooms and saunas won't reopen until at least May.
If lockdown easing remains on track, pubs and restaurants will be able to open on April 12 as well – but they’ll only be able to offer outdoor service.
Meanwhile, they won’t be able to reopen fully for indoor drinking and eating for another month after this.
While pubs and restaurants are open for outdoor-use only, punters will be subject to table service, although they will be able to order takeaway pints and don't have to buy food.
The 10pm curfew is also being scrapped.
Businesses reopening on May 17
- Pubs (indoor serving)
- Restaurants (indoor serving)
- Steam rooms
- Bingo halls
- Bowling alleys
- Big events (with capacity)
- Sports stadiums (with capacity)
Businesses that rely on an indoor setting will be allowed to open their doors to customers again from May 17.
This will include pubs and restaurants, both of which would be allowed dine-in customers from this date.
It is understood big events and sports stadiums could be allowed, but with capacity limits in place.
Up to 10,000 people will be allowed in outdoor spaces where people can spread out, while stadiums will be limited to up to 4,000 people, or 50% capacity.
Indoor events will be capped at 1,000 people, or 50%.
Other businesses that will be allowed to reopen at this time include indoor entertainment, such as cinemas and bingo halls.
Gigs are supposed to restart from June 21, but they may be allowed to go-ahead with limits on numbers and social distancing from as early as May, especially with vaccination figures reaching higher numbers.
Businesses reopening on June 21
- Larger events
All other restrictions could be lifted from June 21 and Brits will be able to feel a sense of normality by July, as long as the pace of the vaccine rollout continues the way it is, and infection rates stay down.
That means nightclubs could finally be allowed to reopen and weddings and funerals should be allowed without restrictions on numbers from June 21.
By the end of July, every adult is expected to have been offered a first dose of the Covid jab.
Any other businesses that weren't mentioned as part of the roadmap should be open by this point, if all goes to plan.
So far none of the dates have been threatened to be pushed back, but the roadmap can be altered by the PM if coronavirus cases start rising or the vaccine programme misses targets.
We've rounded up everything you need to know about "non-essential" shops reopening.
Gyms reopening explained: here's what fitness fans should be aware of.
Meanwhile, working from home measures will remain in place until at least June.
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