New plans to ease lockdown in England

Posted on: February 24th, 2021 by Phil Matten

PM’s roadmap out of England’s lockdown revealed On 22 February 2021, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the four steps that will allow England’s coronavirus lockdown restrictions to be lifted. We explore what employers should know below:

Johnson has announced a roadmap out of lockdown, in place since 5 January 2021, by way of four steps with at least 5 weeks between them – 4 weeks for data collection and analysis, and 1 week for notice of any changes.

• Step 1 contains two key dates. 8 March 2021 will be when all schools and further education institutions can reopen, and from 29 March 2021, outdoor sports facilities, open air swimming pools, and basketball courts can also reopen.

• Step 2, no earlier than 12 April 2021, all non essential shops can re-open – e.g. gyms and pubs (outdoors).

• Step 3, no earlier than 17 May 2021, pubs and restaurants (indoors), hotels, and theatres can reopen.

• Finally, step 4 will happen no earlier than 21 June 2021 when all businesses will be allowed to reopen, including nightclubs.

Johnson has emphasised that these dates should be used to determine the earliest that businesses can reopen, not as a definite timeline.

It has also been confirmed that shielding will continue until the end of March 2021 and that all workers should continue to work from home until this guidance can be reviewed, on a date yet to be confirmed.

The Government has also stated that it will not remove support packages to protect jobs/livelihoods.

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