Lockdown measures are reaching a sombre milestone this month, with March 23 marking a year since stay at home orders were first issued. Now the Government has issued a roadmap out of the third national lockdown, with a timeline of when certain measures can ease. For many, this has given hope for a return to somewhat normality during the summer months.
Britons have been unable to nip to non-essential shops, travel across the country freely or book holidays abroad in recent months.
However, there is light at the end of the tunnel, starting with children returning to schools on March 8 – less than a week away.
As the vaccine effort continues across the country, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has revealed his plans to lift restrictions.
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Then the majority of accommodation including hotels and holiday parks have a date of May 17 for opening.
May 17 has also been given as the earliest date which the restrictions on international travel may lift.
However, these milestones will only be met should the Government find all four conditions for lockdown lifting be met.
- Vaccine programme continues
- Data shows vaccines are reducing deaths and the numbers of people in hospital needing treatment for Covid
- The infection rates aren’t putting hospitals at risk of surging numbers
- New variants don’t add risk to lifting restrictions
For those planning to travel to the UK from abroad, including UK nationals returning home, you must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to three days before departure.
If you do not comply (and you do not have a valid exemption) your airline or carrier may refuse you boarding and/or you may be fined on arrival.
One element of international travel returning could be the introduction of the so-called vaccine passports.
The government is said to be debating bringing in vaccine certificates as part of lockdown measures easing.
This may be added to the NHS app or a separate card which is added to medical records.
Britons may need to use the vaccine passport to enter certain venues or even travel abroad.
Israel has introduced a green pass scheme, allowing those who have been vaccinated to return to somewhat normal life and visit bars, swimming pools and hotels.