Monday, 10 May 2021

When will lockdown end?

Since the first national lockdown in March 2020, each country in the UK has been living with varying levels of restrictions.

A third national lockdown came into effect in England in January, after Boris Johnson announced the planned measures on January 4, stating that he had ‘no choice’ but to impose the new lockdown, with the second wave projected to be twice the size of the first.

All four countries in the UK are currently under lockdown. Is there a timeline for when we are coming out of lockdown?

When will this lockdown end in the UK?

The current lockdown restrictions are enshrined in law until March 31, but remain under ‘continuous review.’

The legislation on the current rules will be in place until the end of March to allow a ‘controlled’ easing of restrictions – with Boris Johnson previously telling the Commons that the end of the national lockdown will not happen with a ‘big bang’ but a ‘gradual unwrapping.’

This means that, even if the national lockdown does end, the country won’t go back to normal but more likely revert back to localised tier systems, as we saw in the latter half of 2020.

On January 15, Prime Minister Boris Johnson hinted at three things that would need to happen before lockdown could end.

The Sunday Times reported that these three things are part of a plan that the Cabinet has agreed on as a strategy for lifting lockdown.

This would involve:

  • Areas being put into lower tiers once death rates had fallen.
  • The number of hospital admissions drops.
  • Large numbers in the 50- to 70-year-old age range being vaccinated.

When is the next lockdown review?

For England, the PM has insisted the rules will be kept under ‘continuous review’ and be reviewed every two weeks.

The next review is expected to take place on February 3.

Each UK country will have their own plan going forward – but Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed that the lockdown in Scotland will be extended until at least mid-February.

She told MSPs on January 19: ‘We believe that the lockdown restrictions – and the sacrifices everyone continues to make – are beginning to have an impact.

‘Case numbers – which had been rising rapidly – appear to have stabilised and even declined. In the week to January 14, there was an average of around 1,900 confirmed new cases per day. This is an 18% reduction on the previous week.’

The current lockdown rules in Wales are expected to be reviewed at the end of January, but First Minister Mark Drakeford and the Welsh government have stated there is not ‘much headroom for change.’

Northern Ireland’s lockdown continues until 6 February, but Health Minister Robin Swann has warned restrictions are ‘highly unlikely’ to be eased.

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