This will be as close to normal as possible.
There will be no attendance limits on weddings and funerals.
Big venues that were unable to open last year, such as nightclubs, can finally reopen.
Many of the details for what can happen now is dependent on a number of reviews.
There are four reviews that have been commissioned that sit below the roadmap. They are designed to find answers that right now the Government feels it cannot give.
Each has a ‘complete by now’ date, meaning we know when to expect clarity but not what the review will decide or if it will lead to a change in the rules.
One review is looking at international travel. It will see whether with vaccine certificates and testing the border can be more open than it is now.
This must conclude before step three on May 17 but could report back in April. That means – theoretically at least – the borders could be relaxed in time for summer holidays.
However there is no guarantee the current rules, which bar anyone from travelling overseas for holiday, will be lifted after the review, meaning summer holidays abroad are not guaranteed.
It comes as Boris Johnson confirmed that the UK’s holiday roadmap will be unveiled on April 5. The Government’s Global Travel Taskforce was expected to report on April 12, but at a Government press conference on Mar 28 Mr Johnson confirmed the announcement will be made one week earlier than planned , with further detail to be given on April 12.
However, the Prime Minister had said earlier on Mar 23 that the prospect of holidays looked “difficult”, due to coronavirus cases rising in other European countries.
New regulations that passed with the review of coronavirus restrictions on Mar 25 include a provision to ban leaving the United Kingdom “without a reasonable excuse”, meaning those leaving the UK without a valid reason could face a £5,000 fine.
Exemptions include work, volunteering, studying, elite sports, legal obligations, medical reasons, care and assistance to vulnerable person, wedding of a close family member – but not going on holiday. Matt Hancock confirmed in an interview with Sky News on Mar 23 that this policy will come into force in the week of Mar 28.
A scientist advising the Government has warned that the prospect of foreign holidays this summer looks “extremely unlikely”. Dr Mike Tildesley, a member of the Spi-M modelling group, said there was a danger travellers could bring back new variants of the coronavirus – like that which emerged in South Africa – which are less susceptible to vaccines.
“I think we are running a real risk if we do start to have lots of people going overseas in July and August because of the potential for bringing more of these new variants back into the country”, he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme on Mar 20.
“What is really dangerous is if we jeopardise our vaccination campaign by having these variants where the vaccines don’t work as effectively spreading more rapidly.”
A second review will look at social distancing measures. These include the keeping of two metres apart outside (or ‘one metre-plus’ inside), wearing face masks and being encouraged to work from home.
That review is due to report back before stage four, which is Jun 17. In other words, do not expect to be told to go back to work in an office until the summer at the earliest.
A third review will look at Covid vaccine certificates being used domestically. This is interesting as Government ministers had previously played down that possibility.
The Telegraph understands that Covid passport checks could be introduced at theatres, football matches, business conferences, wedding venues and even some workplaces.
The Prime Minister has confirmed that Michael Gove has tasked in leading a review into the use of ‘vaccine passports’, in which the “deep and complex issues” surrounding the introduction of immunity certificates will be examined.
Boris Johnson skirted the issue on Mar 24, stating that the use of vaccine passports in pubs may be up to the discretion of individual landlords.
It is understood that the Government remains concerned about the implications of such steps and will weigh moral and ethical implications of any moves like this. It will report back by step four, which is Jun 17.
The fourth review will look at large events. It will attempt to work out when it is safe for large events to be held again. It too will report back by step four, so Jun 17.
Pilots for big outdoor events will be allowed to take place from April.