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Shops and hairdressers set to open after April 12 – England’s road map to COVID-19 recovery

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has laid out the road map for easing the COVID-19 lockdown in England. 

He has presented a four-part plan with at least five weeks between each of the four steps.

The first part of the plan starts on March 8. 

Mr Johnson said the loosening of restrictions will “cautiously but irreversibly” reopen the country over the coming months. 

However, the “threat remains substantial” as we cannot have a “zero COVID” world. People are therefore being advised to remain wary of the virus.  

The PM has praised the vaccination effort which will be integral to getting back to normal. He said that Public Health England figures suggest the Pfizer vaccine has reduced hospitalisations and deaths by 75 per cent. 

He then added that all adults will be offered a vaccine by the end of July. 

The Prime Minister said the end is in sight and that this summer will be incomparably better than last year.

What does this mean for you?  

Step 1:  

Marc 8

  • All schools and universities will reopen fully with outdoor sports activities and after-school clubs also resuming. Secondary schools will receive twice weekly testing for all pupils and staff.  
  • Two people will be allowed to meet up outside in a public place.  
  • Each care home resident will be allowed one named regular visitor as long as they wear PPE and are tested.  


March 29

  • Up to six people can meet outdoors. 
  • Many outdoor sports will be allowed to resume. These include golf, football, swimming, and cricket.  

People no longer legally required to stay at home, although they are being advised to continue working from home and minimise travel.  


Step 2:  

No earlier than April 12

  • Non-essential retail, hairdressers and nail salons can reopen.  
  • Gyms and indoor sports facilities can also reopen. 
  • Pubs and restaurants can serve people outdoors.  
  • Holiday lets will be allowed providing only one household is present.  

On May 6, local elections will go ahead as planned.  


Step 3:  

No earlier than May 17 

  • Most outdoors restrictions will be lifted for groups of under 30 people. 
  • People will be allowed to meet friends and family indoors – as long as there are no more than two households present 
  • Pubs and restaurants will reopen with no curfew or substantial meals required. 


Step 4: 

No earlier than June  21

  • Most restrictions will be eased.  
  • Weddings will no longer have limits. 
  • Nightclubs can reopen. 


The PM also said that free testing kits for workplaces will be provided until end of June and can be collected from local testing sites. 

The Prime Minister will hold a televised press conference at 7pm to address the nation.  


These will be subject to resolving key questions and there will be four main reviews.

  1. Social distancing and face mask usage. 
  2. Consider the resumption of international travel.
  3. COVID status certification for venues.
  4. Return of major events.