Everything You Need To Know About The New Government COVID Roadmap On Covid-19

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Roadmap out of lockdown

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson has unveiled his much-anticipated ‘roadmap’ to ease restrictions across England. As more and more people receive vaccinations, businesses can start to make plans for reopening. Here’s a run-down of the dates when different types of business can open their doors again.


The roadmap comprises four main steps, with at least five weeks between each phase. Boris Johnson has emphasised that the government’s decision to start each new stage will depend on scientific data, rather than the established schedule.

At each step, the government will review the situation based on the success of the vaccination programme and the efficiency of the vaccine in reducing hospitalisations and deaths. Phases may also be postponed if infections risk a surge in hospitalisations and put unsustainable pressure on the NHS, or if a new variant causes concern. 

Key dates for businesses reopening 

8th March

Step One is characterised by the return of children and students to schools and colleges. To reflect this change, related businesses can reopen; namely:

Businesses providing wraparound childcare (provided outside of normal school hours) and supervised children’s activities - if they allow parents to work, look for a job, educate themselves, seek medical care or attend a support group 

29th March

In the week commencing 29th March, most schools break up for the Easter holidays. 

At this point, the government hopes to allow outdoor gatherings of either six people or two households. If the plan for this second stage of Step One goes ahead, people will be able to leave their homes, but continue to work remotely if possible and avoid travelling internationally. 

The next sector to reopen will be: 

  • Businesses running outdoor sports facilities, classes and games 

12th April

While the dates aren’t set in stone, the government will look at reopening a large proportion of sectors for Step Two on the 12th April. Also, funerals with up to 30 guests could be permitted, and the number of people at weddings, receptions and commemorative events such as wakes could increase from six to 15. 

The businesses allowed to welcome customers on this day could include:

  • Non-essential retailers and personal care businesses, such as hairdressers and nail salons
  • Most outdoor attractions, including zoos and theme parks - but they must implement social contact rules 
  • Drive-in cinemas

Indoor leisure facilities, such as gyms and swimming pools - but customers can only use them with members of their own household or on their own

Hospitality venues serving people outdoors - people must order and consume their food and drinks while seated, but they won’t need to have a substantial meal with alcohol and there won’t be a curfew

Self-contained accommodation, such as holiday lets - as long as indoor areas are not shared with other households


17th May 

For Step Three, most businesses will be allowed to get up and running again. People can gather in groups of up to 30 people outdoors, where most social contact rules will be removed. Also, the number of permitted guests at weddings, receptions, funerals and wakes will rise to 30. 

If the date remains fixed, the businesses allowed to reopen on the 17th May will include:

  • Outdoor performance venues, such as outdoor cinemas and theatres 
  • Indoors performance venues - but people will probably have to stay in groups of six or two households
  • Indoor hospitality and entertainment venues, such as cinemas and soft play facilities 
  • All accommodation businesses
  • Businesses running indoor adult group sports and exercise classes
  • Companies running large-scale, indoor performances and sporting events - either with a half-full audience or with under 1,000 people (whichever is lower)
  • Companies running large-scale, outdoor events - either with a  half-full audience or under 4,000 people (whichever is lower)
  • Companies running events in the largest outdoor seated venues where crowds can spread out - either with a quarter-full audience or under 10,000 people (whichever is lower)

21st June

Ideally, all businesses will be able to reopen on the 21st June for Step Four, the final stage in the government roadmap. On this date, all social distancing regulations should be removed and the Prime Minister will review guest numbers at weddings and other life events. 

The final businesses to restart will be: 

  • Nightclubs 
  • All companies running large events and performances that weren’t able to reopen in Step Three

Get more information

If you have any queries or concerns about the Covid-19 pandemic, you can find official guidance on the coronavirus section of the GOV.UK website. This comprehensive resource should be your first port of call if you need accurate information about the pandemic. 

On the GOV.UK website, you can check what you can and cannot do in the UK, and find information on testing and self-isolating, education and childcare, international travel and vaccination. Plus, there are useful guides on support for employees, business owners and self-employed workers. 

Although the dates above aren’t set in stone and could change depending on the situation in the UK, the government roadmap shows how Britain will lift coronavirus restrictions. While the individual steps could be deferred, the plan reveals the order in which different sectors will be able to resume business. 

There’s lots more guidance on navigating the Covid-19 crisis as a business owner right here at Point Franchise. Browse the articles below or use the search box to find information on a topic relevant to you. 

You can also browse our selection of fantastic franchise opportunities from the main menu and view our most recent publications to find resources covering all aspects of the franchise world.

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