When schools, shops, pubs and restaurants will open in Leeds as lockdown exit strategy revealed
Plans for the end of lockdown and how schools, shops, pubs and bars will reopen have been revealed ahead of Boris Johnson's official announcement.
The 'roadmap' for how lockdown will end is set to be unveiled on Monday, with the Prime Minister set to make an announcement at 5pm on Monday.
In it, he is expected to set out the rough dates for when the lockdown will end as the vaccine rollout programme continues apace.
March 8: Schools will reopen on March 8 to all children and not just key workers' children.
March/April: Shops will be next to reopen at the end of March or the beginning of April
April: Sports including tennis and golf will resume and hotels will reopen
May: Pubs and bars will reopen and restaurants will open their doors again. A maximum of two households will be allowed to sit together, and the Rule of Six will be back.
July: Holiday industries will resume - but social distancing will still be required.
-> Is lockdown in Leeds working? The areas where case rates are still highHow will the changes affect the NHS? Does everyone support the lockdown plan?
The NHS is likely to remain “at full stretch” for at least another six weeks, a leading health official said as he warned the Prime Minister against easing lockdown too quickly.
Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, which represents NHS trusts in England, has written to Boris Johnson calling for a focus on “data, not just dates” when it comes to the Government’s approach to the route out of lockdown.
The Prime Minister will scrutinise data this week on coronavirus case numbers, hospital admissions, deaths and the impact of the vaccine rollout as he prepares his plan to reduce restrictions.
Mr Johnson has said he will aim to give target dates for restrictions being eased when he sets out his plan next Monday, but “won’t hesitate” to delay plans if infection rates make it necessary.
Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph reported Covid-19 cases would need to sink to 1,000 per day before lockdown could be softened, a figure suggested by former health secretary Jeremy Hunt earlier this month when he urged a cautious approach to lifting restrictions.
That figure is a long way from the 10,625 lab-confirmed cases reported on Tuesday, and Downing Street said no decision had been made yet on easing the lockdown.
The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC), meanwhile, did not deny suggestions that rapid-result testing will be at the heart of attempting to introduce a level of normality in the coming months.
-> When will hairdressers reopen?It follows a report in The Times that claimed a Government testing blitz is set to start in time for some schools reopening next month.
The newspaper said NHS Test and Trace is preparing for nationwide “surge” testing under which more than 400,000 lateral flow tests, which can provide results in less than 30 minutes, will be sent by post to homes and workplaces every day under a scheme called “Are you ready? Get testing. Go”.
Asked about the possibility of expanding the use of lateral flow tests, the department said more than 70% of local authorities in England were already offering rapid testing to those who are unable to work from home and pointed to the drive to widen the availability of quick-result testing to businesses with more than 50 employees.
A DHSC spokesman said: “We have not finalised further plans for testing.”