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England: Will lockdown still end on June 21? Step four rule changes, explained

What changes are set to occur on June 21 ‘Freedom Day’? (Picture: Getty)

England has moved into the next stage of its lockdown roadmap, meaning people can now socialise indoors, hug loved ones, and hit cinemas once again.

The final stage is tentatively set for June 21, where almost all remaining restrictions will hopefully be lifted.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently cast doubt over whether the June 21 ‘Freedom Day’ date can go ahead, with growing concern regarding the surge of cases of the Indian Covid-19 variant in some areas of the UK.

Mr Johnson admitted that it may be ‘more difficult’ for England to proceed with the rule easing.

For the time being, the date remains in place, so what will change on June 21?

Will lockdown end on June 21?

A decision on the final step of lockdown will be made in the coming weeks, as further relaxation of restrictions depends on the new Indian Covid strain being contained.

In a televised press conference on Friday, Boris Johnson said: ‘I have to level with you that this new variant could pose a serious disruption to our progress and could make it more difficult to move to step four in June.’

The PM continued: ‘And I must stress that we will do whatever it takes to keep the public safe.

‘Our surveillance and data gathering is now so advanced that if it was a danger of the NHS coming under unsustainable pressure we would see the signs in the data very early on and could react in good time.’

What lockdown rules could change on Monday, June 21?

It is hoped that limits on most social contact will be lifted from June 21.

wedding reception

These rule changes only apply to England – the rest of the UK have their own roadmaps (Picture: Getty)

Any remaining hospitality services that could not open in previous steps on the roadmap will now be able to.

It is worth noting that the below rule changes only apply to England, as Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland each have their own roadmaps out of lockdown.

Weddings

In the final stage of lockdown easing, large gatherings will be able to take place at full capacity, giving those hoping to tie the knot this summer a chance to have all their loved ones with them on their big day.

From May 17, weddings can take place with up to 30 guests.

Nightclubs and music venues

In step four of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown, nightclubs and music venues will reopen and larger events will be allowed to resume without limited crowds.

Current guidance states: ‘This will be subject to the results of a scientific events research programme to test the outcome of certain pilot events through the spring and summer, where we will trial the use of testing and other techniques to cut the risk of infection.’

The Government is testing how Covid-19 vaccine passports could help crowds return to large events in England, including theatres, nightclubs, and sports events.

The Brit Awards 2021 were recently used as a means of testing how an event with a large crowd could be managed once the country lifts more restrictions.

The NHS app is being developed to act as the Covid-19 vaccine passport to show if you’ve had a vaccine or if you’ve been tested, with the hope being it will help make both large events and international travel easier to manage and monitor.

NHS app on an iphone at the beach

The NHS App is being developed to act as a vaccine passport, making travel and large gatherings easier to manage (Picture: NHS)

Holidays

It is likely that the travel traffic light system will remain in place come June 21.

Each foreign country (and island) will be given a colour (green, amber, or red) which designates whether you’ll need to self-isolate on return to the UK – although, all countries will require substantial coronavirus testing.

The lists are reviewed every three weeks, meaning that some may move up into the green list, or some may move down depending on the number of Covid-19 cases in the respective destination.

What are the conditions for lifting lockdown rules?

As with all other stages of the roadmap, lockdown rules will only be eased on June 21 if the four conditions listed below are met:

  • The vaccination programme continues successfully,
  • Data shows that the vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated,
  • Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS,
  • The Government’s risk assessment does not fundamentally change because of any new Covid-19 variants.


MORE : How to help cut down your child’s screen time following lockdown


MORE : Local lockdowns to return in Scotland and roadmap delayed over Indian variant

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