COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021 (Summary)

COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021 (Summary)

Roadmap out of Lockdown – COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021

From the 8th of march, England will notice that the restrictions will start to lift, and the government’s four-step roadmap will come into effect towards regular life following the COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021.

The success of the vaccination programme is one of the factors – so far, over 17 million people have had their jabs, but by no means the whole story.

The public has also risen to the challenge of suppressing the coronavirus by obeying the law and staying at home, getting tested when necessary, isolating when required, and following the ‘hands, face, space’ and ‘letting fresh air in’ guidance by the government and medics.

This means that even though the affected number of patients has not gone down, restrictions will be applicable. While the relaxation in the rules occurs, we must watch out for the coronavirus’s new variants, which has affected the crowds.

The Process – COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021

This process will take place in four significant steps, and the concerned authority will lift restrictions all over England in this process only.

While implementing this plan, the government will go by data alone and not dates to not risk any surge and increase in the infection spread. Hence, the roadmap dates are subject to change according to the atmosphere and the spread of the virus’s overall situation. There occurs a gap of five weeks between each step implemented to observe and backlash in the taken step. The data will be analysed week by week.

All decisions will be taken by the government only when they are sure of the situation and can handle it well. The decision will be based on four tests. The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully. Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated. Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS. New variants of the virus do not fundamentally change the government’s assessment of the risks.

The government will keep observing and analysing, and protecting the public against the virus and will take necessary steps to reduce the spread of the infection.

The government will also continue to support families and businesses throughout the steps set out in the roadmap. The Chancellor in the Budget will set out the details on the 3rd of March.

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Four Steps

Step 1

Firstly, one must ensure that all children and students return to face-to-face mode of education safely in their respective schools and colleges from the 8th of march. It will also resume the supervised Children’s activities to enable the parents to work. This is a part of the COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021.

For more safety, teachers would test for the virus regularly and students weekly.

Higher education will also resume from 8th March in universities.

People will be allowed to leave home for recreation and exercise outdoors with their household or support bubble if they are eligible for one or with one person from outside their household. Care home residents will also be allowed, one regular visitor.

The evidence shows that it is safer for people to meet outdoors rather than indoors. And this is why from 29 March, when most schools start to break up for the Easter holidays, outdoor gatherings of either six people or two households will happen, making it easier for friends and families to meet outside.

Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts, and open-air swimming pools, will reopen, and people will be able to participate in organised outdoor sports activities.

Holidays abroad will not receive permission, given it will remain essential to manage the risk of imported variants and protect the vaccination programme. The government has launched a new taskforce to review global travel, which will report on 12th April.

The ‘stay at home’ rule will end on 29 March, but many restrictions will remain in place.

Step 2

This step will be in effect only after the 12th of April. In this step, non-essential retail, personal care premises, hairdressers, salons and public buildings will reopen.

Self-contained accommodation such as campsites and holiday lets, where indoor facilities are not shared with other households, can also reopen.

Restaurants, cafes, and eateries will also restart, but will all the covid19 rules be followed by the staff and customers.

Funerals can continue with up to 30 mourners. The number of people attending weddings, receptions and commemorative events such as wakes will rise to 15.

Step 3

Step 3 will be implemented from 17th May onwards. The government will look at easing facilities to meet friends and family when possible. It will reduce the restriction of gatherings of people in public places.

Public meetings and gatherings will be allowed, but only 30 people will still apply.

If possible, a restriction on social distancing will be lifted by allowing hugs and handshakes in this step. But people are advised not to do so for protecting themselves from the virus.

Most businesses in all but the highest risk sectors will be able to reopen. In all industries, COVID-Secure guidance will remain in place. Companies may not cater for groups bigger than the legal limits (30 people at the public or indoor gathering).

Indoor hospitality will reopen. As in Step 2, venues will not have to serve a substantial meal with alcoholic drinks. There will be no curfew. Customers will, however, have to order, eat and drink while being seated in one place.

Other indoor locations like cinema halls and children’s play area will open, including hotels, hostels, and adult exercise groups.

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The government will also allow some larger performances and sporting events in indoor venues. Events would have 1,000 people or half-full and in outdoor venues with a capacity of 4,000 people or half-full, in the most extensive outdoor seated venues, where crowds can be spread out, up to 10,000 people will attend.

Up to 30 people will be able to attend weddings, receptions and wakes, as well as funerals. This limit will also apply to other types of significant life events, including bar mitzvahs and christenings.

Step 4

This step will take place, not before 21st June. The government hopes to remove all legal limits on the social gathering.

The government hopes to reopen the remaining premises, including nightclubs, and ease the restrictions on large events and performances that apply in Step 3.  This will be subject to the results of a scientific Events Research Programme to test the outcome of certain pilot events through the spring and summer, where they will trial the use of testing and other techniques to cut infection risk. The same Events Research Programme will guide decisions on whether one can remove all limits on weddings and other life events.

As we move through these four steps, we must remember that this virus is a part of our lives, and we must always strive to protect ourselves and others from this infection. Comply with the COVID-Secure measures that remain in place (COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021). Meet outdoors where we can keep letting fresh air in. Get tested when needed. Get vaccinated when offered. If we all continue to play our part, we will be that bit closer to a more familiar future and be successful in defeating this vicious virus.

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