BORIS Johnson is due to set out his road map for how the Government will ease lockdown restrictions on February 22.

The PM has said he will prioritise getting kids back to school, but what are the other key dates in the path out of lockdown?

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February 15

The PM last night held a press conference to mark hitting the target of vaccinating the 15m people in the four most vulnerable groups by February 13.

He said he hoped the current coronavirus lockdown will be the last thanks to the "unprecedented" vaccine rollout.

Speaking at a Downing Street news conference, he praised the "astonishing efforts" of everyone involved in the delivery of jabs, after the government met its target of offering a first dose to 15 million vulnerable people two days early.

The PM promised to gradually remove restrictions in a “cautious but also irreversible” was – though admitted he can't offer "an absolute cast iron guarantee.”

Mr Johnson hailed the "unprecedented national achievement", but said that now was "no moment to relax" as the vaccine rollout moves on to the next five priority groups.

He said: “Science is now unquestionably in the ascendancy over the disease.”

The PM then added: “I don’t want people to think that I am not optimistic, there has been a big change.”

Quarantine hotels also opened on February 15, with a 10-day stay costing travellers £1,750 each.

If passengers leave the quarantine hotel before their 10 days are up, they will be handed a £5,000 coronavirus fine, but this figure can increase up to £10,000, Mr Hancock warned.

Travellers coming into England from 33 red list countries now have to book a stay at a quarantine hotel through an online booking platform, which went live on February 11.

February 22

Boris Johnson is due to unveil the "phased" route out of lockdown on February 22.

He said on February 13 that he is "optimistic" about announcing the lifting of restrictions.

Speaking during a visit to the Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies plant in Billingham, Teesside, where the new Novavax vaccine will be manufactured, he said: "I'm optimistic, but we have to be cautious."

The PM added: "Our children's education is our number one priority, but then working forward, getting non-essential retail open as well and then, in due course, as and when we can prudently, cautiously, of course we want to be opening hospitality as well.

"I will be trying to set out as much as I possibly can in as much detail as I can, always understanding that we have to be wary of the pattern of disease.

"We don't want to be forced into any kind of retreat or reverse ferret."

March 8

All kids are expected to be back in class by March 8.

The PM has said this would be the "earliest" the Government would allow schools to reopen.

He vowed not to send children back too soon or there was a huge risk the nation could be "forced into reverse" and would have to turn on the brakes once again.

The PM has repeatedly said schools are his "number one priority."

And Dominic Raab told the BBC's Andrew Marr today: "As well as opening schools on March 8, our aim is to get non-essential retail open and then after that, again driven by the evidence on how the vaccine is working we can think about things like hospitality."

Schools have been told that they will be given two weeks' notice.

The PM confirmed that no other sectors that are currently closed under restrictions, such as hospitality, will open until after March 8.

And picnics could be on the cards by that date too as Dominic Raab said vaccine data key to unlocking Britain was looking "pretty good".

Mr Johnson is poised to announce that people will be allowed to picnic in the park with a friend or their household.

Current rules mean people may only meet outdoors for exercise – while standing up.

March 31

Current lockdown legislation ends on March 31 meaning new legislation would be needed to extend the tough restrictions.

It is unlikely that all restrictions will have ended by then.

Face masks and social distancing measures are likely to stay in place for the long-term.

April and beyond

Brits should be able to enjoy drinks alfresco outside from April if cases continue to fall at the current rate.

A government source told The Sun: “We will hopefully be sipping pints in the spring sunshine sooner rather than later.”

Hospitality had been earmarked to reopen in May, with only takeaway pints allowed in April.

But it's hoped this will sped up in a major boost to the blighted sector.

A wider reopening for limited indoor mixing in pubs and restaurants is still planned for May.

Sports fans could also be sent Covid tests along with their tickets so they can watch major events including the Euros and Wimbledon again this summer.

It has also been reported previously that the PM was hoping to reunite families to allow them to mingle by Easter.

Good Friday falls on April 2.

The Government is aiming to have all priority groups and over 50s vaccinated by May.

There have been no concrete dates on when younger groups will get their jabs, however it is likely that some can expect to be invited for their first dose in the months after the deadline.

 

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