Tuesday, 18 May 2021

When will the national lockdown end?

BORIS Johnson plunged England into a national lockdown on January 4 due to surging coronavirus infections.

A stay-at-home order is in place and schools and colleges are closed until at least the February half term as parents grapple with the challenge of homeschooling. But when will the national lockdown end?

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When will the lockdown measures end?

On Monday, January 4, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that England would be placed under a third national lockdown.

In an address to the nation, he said that people must again stay at home to protect the NHS and to save lives, and suggested that the restrictions would last for seven weeks until mid-February.

Mr Johnson said that by the middle of February, the vaccine was expected to have been offered to everyone in the top four priority groups and everyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable.

Lockdown restrictions look set to be lifted in March, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab revealed on Sunday, January 17.

He said easing measures will "not happen in one big bang," instead insisting they will be "phased out" in individual regions.

When is February half term 2021?

Half term dates vary depending on where you live.

For most, the February half term is 2021 is from Monday 15 – Friday 19.

For the dates in your area, check your local council's website.

By entering your postcode on the government website you will be directed to your council's page.

Will the tier system return?

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab confirmed it is the government's intention for lockdown measures to be lifted in March.

He suggested that regions in England could return to the tiers system post lockdown.

Mr Raab told BBC's Andrew Marr: "When we get to early Spring if we've succeeded, we can start to think about the phased transition out of the national lockdown.

"It won't be a big bang, it'll possibly be back through the Tiers system."

It comes as the Sunday Times reported the Cabinet has agreed a lockdown exit strategy and a return to the tiers system.

In order for measures to be eased, an area's death rate must fall, the number of hospital admissions must drop and some in the 50 to 70-year-old age range must be vaccinated.

Tory MPs have piled pressure on Boris Johnson to publish a "clear road map" for easing the lockdown from March 8, warning the PM there "cannot be any more excuses". 

Mark Harper, the Tory chairman of the lockdown-sceptic Covid Recovery Group, said people "need hope" and businesses "need a plan in order to survive".

He wrote in The Sunday Telegraph: "That's why this week, we need a draft plan for the progressive lifting of restrictions from March 8 so that the public, businesses and scientists can use it as the basis for a sensible debate, as the Prime Minister suggested on Friday."

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