The Prime Ministers announcement a few weeks ago set out his plan to ease England’s coronavirus restrictions. Here we look at the roadmap out of lockdown and what that means for us here in North East England.

Finally, this week sees the start of the lockdown restrictions being lifted, and how great does that feel? At last, we can spend some time with our much-loved family and friends.  Here’s our Roadmap out of lockdown containing all the stages we can all look forward to this spring and summer.

Stage 1 – 8th March 2021

This is the day when our kids get back to the classroom.  Much to the relief of many of you parents out there.  How hard has it been to entertain your children when there is literally nothing to do with them?

As well as the kids going back to school, friends and/or family can meet up outside for a walk. They can sit down for a coffee, or even have a picnic in the park.  And there are some fabulous parks around the North East, think Leazes Park, Saltwell Park, even Bolam Lakes Country Park, to name a few.  Or visit one of the fabulous beaches dotted all along the North East England coastline.

For those of you with elderly friends or relatives, it’s great news that Care Home residents will be allowed, one regular visitor.

Stage 1 – 29th March 2021

On the 29th of March, the rule of six returns.  This rule does what it says on the tin.  It allows groups of six people to gather outdoors in either parks or gardens.  This is a great opportunity to be able to meet up with friends and relatives who you’ve been missing for a long time!

Its today that outdoor sports facilities open too.  So look out for sports such as Tennis, Basketball or Football, in your local area.  Organised sport is also allowed which means travel will be allowed outside local areas.

Stage 2 –  12th April 2021

It’s today that non-essential retail will open, alongside hairdressers and beauty salons. So ladies if you want your hair, face, nails done along with a new outfit, this is the day to plan!  It’s definitely worth a trip to the Metro Centre, or have a trip into Newcastle or Durham City Centres.  Of course, safety measures will still be in place, and all shops will have to make sure it’s safe for their customers.

There’s a fair bit opening up during this stage too such as:

  • Most outdoor attractions will open including zoos, theme parks and drive-in performances.
  • Indoor leisure, i.e. Gyms and swimming pools will reopen but only when you’re visiting alone, with others from your household, or with your support bubble.
  • Hospitality venues can reopen but for outdoor purposes only, meaning restaurants and pubs will only be able to serve customers outside, where the rule of six or two households will apply.  We are all hoping for good weather for sure!

For pubs its good news because the requirement for them to be serving a substantial meal and having to comply with curfews will both be scrapped. However, customers will need to be seated when ordering food or drink.

Stage 3 –  17th May 2021

Today, the government is intending to ease limits on social contact.  In practice, this means two households or groups of up to six people will be allowed to mix indoors.  This is the time when we can get together and not worry about the weather!  It will be nice to be able to sit down for dinner with friends and family.

Outdoors, the rule of six and two household requirement will be lifted, although gatherings of more than 30 people in parks and gardens will remain illegal. So garden parties will be allowed!

There will be a lot going on outdoors.  So outdoor cinemas and theatres will open along with Indoor hospitality and entertainment, such as restaurants, hotels, soft play and sports classes.

Larger performances and sporting events in indoor venues, with a capacity of 1,000 people or half-full, whichever is lower, will be allowed, while outdoors it will be 4,000 people or half-full, again whichever is lower.

Up to 30 people at the following events, weddings, christenings and funerals.

Stage 4 – June 21st 2021

So this is when we may begin to feel free again!  In this stage, all legal limits on social contact are removed. Family reunions and larger social gatherings will finally be allowed from this date.

It is also hoped that the final closed sectors of the economy, such as nightclubs, could be allowed to reopen, while restrictions on large events could also be eased.

So there you have it, the roadmap out of lockdown.  We hope you enjoy this part of the journey back to normality!