The last 12 months has been one of the most challenging times most of us will ever face. We’ve always known a successful vaccination programme will dictate how and when we come out of lockdown. With over 17 million people vaccinated and with millions getting their vaccine weekly, the UK Prime Minister gave a statement to Parliament yesterday (Mon 22 Feb) on a roadmap for easing lockdown restrictions in England.

This roadmap sets out how the Government will begin to lift restrictions in England from 8 March, starting with schools and colleges.

It outlines four steps for easing restrictions. Before taking each step, the Government will review the latest data on the impact of the previous step against the following four tests:

  1. The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully.
  2. Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated.
  3. Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS.
  4. The Government’s assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern.

The four steps for easing restrictions are:

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As we move through each of these phases in the roadmap, we must all remember that COVID-19 remains a part of our lives and we must continue to get tested, and to carry on with practising Hands, Face, Space and letting fresh air in.

Until the rules change, please stay at home to protect the NHS, and save lives.

Further information on the Roadmap out of lockdown can be found on the Government’s website.