Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces ‘ Four Steps ’ plan for return to normality
On Monday 22nd February 2021 Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his plans for the lifting of restrictions between now and June this year . With June set as the target for seeing normality returning for us all .
The PM addressed the nation outlining a Four Steps approach to lifting lockdown . He made it clear that some of the targets might be delayed if cases and hospital admissions required it . He said that ideally he wanted these actions to be irreversible so a staggered and monitored approach was the best solution .
Between each of the Four Steps outlined there will be a five week period in which the Government will review the latest data on the impact of the previous step against a series of Four Tests that will assist in the decision of moving forward or delaying the next step in the plan . The five week period allows for four weeks to collect data and a week ’ s notice period when it will be announced the outcome of each steps efficiacy and whether the next step will proceed as planned .
The Four Tests are :
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 . Assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern .
The Four Steps :
Between now and June there are changes that will bring a long awaited improvement in some very important sectors that affect your industry .
Step One has two dates , the most important is 29th March . From this date the plan is to re-open all outdoor sport and leisure facilities . We will see the return of all organised outdoor sport for children and adults .
Step Two sees the first significant date . As from 12th April non-essential retail will be able to open their doors at long last . This will be dependant on data from the Four Tests being successful during Step One .
All retail settings must continue to abide by the social contact rules . The Government will require businesses to demonstrate robust strategies for managing the risk of transmission and to ensure social distancing rules are followed . Local authorities and the police will continue to provide support and advice to newly reopened settings , enabling them to operate safely . But at long last the High Street will be given the chance to recover .
Step Three , again dependent on the previous two steps and the four tests outlined , brings the next significant date to keep in mind , 17th May . The first area this date will affect is some large events , which includes industry trade shows , indoor sports events , seminars , and conferences .
If all goes to plan , a majority of controlled indoor events can re-start with up to 1,000 people or 50 % venue capacity , which ever is lower . The Government will also make a special provision for large , outdoor , seated venues where crowds can be safely distributed , allowing up to 10,000 people or 25 % of total seated capacity , whichever is lower .