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Everything we know so far about Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown

‘Rule of six’ to replace advice to stay at home from 29 March

Boris Johnson will tonight announce that the “stay at home” rule will be scrapped next month as part of his long-awaited roadmap for ending the third Covid-19 lockdown.

Schools will reopen on 8 March with “testing and year-group bubbles”, while from the same day “two people will be allowed to meet outside without exercising”, The Times reports.

Three weeks later, on 29 March, the current “stay at home” advice will be lifted and replaced with the “rule of six”, allowing six people from up to six households to mix in parks and private gardens. Organised outdoor sports will be allowed to start again from the same day.

The BBC says that from 29 March, people will be able to travel out of their areas, “although guidance will likely still recommend staying local, and overnight stays will not be permitted”.

“Social contact with loved ones” is expected to “take precedence over the reopening of shops and hospitality”, The Guardian adds. The UK will have to wait until at least April for the reopening of non-essential retail and outdoor hospitality, and until the following month for “tentative restarting” of sports and music events, paired with mass testing, the paper says.

Stage three of the unlocking is expected to start in May, says The Telegraph, when pubs and restaurants can serve indoors and hairdressers reopen. Stage four in June could see “staycations given the green lights”, the paper adds.

Before proceeding to each stage, the government will examine infection rates and the number of Covid hospitalisations to assess the impact of previous changes. Johnson will first unveil his plan to MPs before addressing the nation at a news conference at 7pm.

Although Johnson is expected to announce “storming data” that shows the vaccine rollout has led directly to “tumbling deaths and hospital cases”, The Sun reports, the prime minister will also “warn that for each step to be taken, benchmark numbers will need to be met” on cases, hospital admissions, vaccinations and deaths.

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