Government announces roadmap to ease lockdown measures

Published: 22 February 2021

Council House from River Gardens

Most imminently, all schools will reopen on 8 March

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a roadmap on how lockdown measures will be eased in England over coming months.

Most imminently, all schools will reopen on 8 March and from 29 March, outdoor gatherings of either six people or two households will be permitted.

  • From 8 March - All schools will open with outdoor after-school sports and activities allowed. Recreation in a public space - such as a park - will be allowed between two people, meaning they would be allowed to sit down for a coffee, drink or picnic.
    New rules will also allow each care home resident to have one regular visitor, while following regulations.
  • From 29 March - Outdoor gatherings of either six people or two households will be allowed. This will include gatherings in private gardens. Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis or basketball courts will reopen and organised adult and children's sport, such as grassroots football, will also return.
  • From 12 April – Non-essential retail, personal care (e.g. hairdressers, nail salons), gyms and hospitality (outdoors only), outdoor settings such as zoos and theme parks and self-catering holiday accommodation allowed to open.

Further easing, such as indoor hospitality and theatres and cinemas opening will begin on 17 May at the earliest.

The Government has urged caution with the easing of restrictions and highlighted that each phase can only take place if certain conditions are met at each stage.

The four conditions that must be met at each phase of lockdown easing are:

  • The coronavirus vaccine programme continues to go to plan
  • Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently reducing the number of people dying with the virus or needing hospital treatment
  • Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospital admissions
  • New variants of the virus do not fundamentally change the risk of lifting restrictions

Councillor Chris Poulter, Leader of Derby City Council, said:

It is very welcome news that the current lockdown measures and the ongoing vaccination programme are moving us in the right direction and we are able to ease restrictions in coming weeks and months.

For us to be able to move away from severe restrictions sooner rather than later and hopefully remain that way, it is vital that we continue to follow the rules and act safely and considerately. We need to remember to keep our distance, wash our hands and wear a face covering if we can.

If we continue our hard work, we hope this will be a much brighter summer and year as a whole for Derby.

In Derby, the Community Hub is here to assist all those in need during the pandemic but will prioritise those who have no family, friends, or neighbours to support them.

You can find out more about the Derby Community Hub, the support it provides and how you can help on the Council website Those who need support can call Derby Direct on 01332 640000. A text service is also available for Deaf people on 0777 4333412.

The line will open between 9.00am and 5.00pm, Monday to Friday. There’s also a dedicated email at

Should there be any emergency care needs due to COVID-19, please call the emergency OOH Careline number on 01332 956606.

You can read the full announcement and COVID guidance on the Government website.

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