Government's Roadmap To Reopen Schools, Shops And Pubs Revealed
The government's plan to reopen schools, non-essential shops and pubs across England has been revealed.
A senior government official told The i newspaper about Prime Minister Boris Johnson's roadmap out of lockdown, which is scheduled to begin on 8 March with the reopening of schools.
It is believed that the reproduction number (R number) will be assessed as pupils return back which will determine whether the country can move on to the next stage.
If the R number stays low and the infection rates remain at an 'acceptable level' then Johnson is expected to give the green light for non-essential shops to reopen, which could happen at the end of March.
As we approach the week leading to Good Friday (2 April), if there is no significant rise in the R number or infections following the reopening of non-essential shops, the final stage of the plan could be actioned.
This allows hospitality businesses - including hotels, restaurants, bars and pubs - to open their doors again from the Easter weekend.
According to The i, this would mean that we could see a return of staycations and people will be permitted to take breaks in England. Foreign travel is expected to be off the cards for some months to come.
Speaking to the publication, the government official said: "My understanding is the Prime Minister is encouraged by a slew of data coming out that shows the positive impact the current lockdown has had.
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"By March, there's also a good chance that almost, if not all over-50s and younger vulnerable groups would have been given at least their first dose of a vaccine.
"The optimism is increasing at Downing Street and we may well be enjoying a pint in the pub by Easter if the data continues to improve in the coming weeks."
The Prime Minister has also been persuaded to axe the tier system, following reports that it did little to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
The official went on to add: "The Government would like to do away with the tier system entirely.
"If another lockdown is required in the future because of another new, more transmissible, variant that current vaccines don't work against comes along, then there's not a great deal anyone can do about that.
"The current plan is very much the three-stage approach, beginning with the reopening of schools, watching the R number, and if that remains low then non-essential shops will open.
"Then another short wait until hospitality businesses open."
It is believed that the roadmap will be announced and launched on 22 February.
LADbible has contacted the Home Office for comment.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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