BORIS Johnson plunged England into a national lockdown on January 4 due to surging coronavirus infections.
A stay-at-home order is in place and schools and colleges are closed until at least the February half term as parents grapple with the challenge of homeschooling. But when will the national lockdown end?
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England has been under strict lockdown measures since January 4Credit: No 10 Downing Street/ BEEM
When will the lockdown measures end?
In an address to the nation, he said that people must again stay at home to protect the NHS and to save lives, and suggested that the restrictions would last for seven weeks until mid-February.
Lockdown restrictions look set to be lifted in March, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab revealed today (Sunday, January 17).
He said easing measures will “not happen in one big bang,” instead insisting they will be “phased out” in individual regions.
The lockdown measures remain law until March 31 but the easing of measures will depend on how quickly the vaccine can be rolled out.
When is February half term 2021?
Half term dates vary depending on where you live.
For most, the February half term is from Monday 15 – Friday 19.
For the dates in your area, check your local council’s website.
By entering your postcode on the government website you will be directed to your council’s page.
Schools in England will be closed until at least the February half term
Will the tier system return?
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the government hopes to be in a position to make decisions about easing the lockdown by March.
But he warned the easing of measures will “not happen in one big bang” as restrictions will be “phased out” in individual regions.
It comes as the Sunday Times reported the Cabinet has agreed a lockdown exit strategy and a return to the tiers system.
In order for measures to be eased, an area’s death rate must fall, the number of hospital admissions must drop and some in the 50 to 70-year-old age range must be vaccinated.
He told Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday: “Of course what we want to do is get out of this national lockdown.”
But he added: “We won’t do it all in one big bang.
“We will end up phasing through the tiered approach.”
He told BBC’s Andrew Marr “we can start to think about the phased transition out of the national lockdown” if government targets are met by early spring.
Tory MPs have piled pressure on Boris Johnson to publish a “clear road map” for easing the lockdown from March 8, warning the PM there “cannot be any more excuses”.
Mark Harper, the Tory chairman of the lockdown-sceptic Covid Recovery Group, said people “need hope” and businesses “need a plan in order to survive”.
He wrote in The Sunday Telegraph: “That’s why this week, we need a draft plan for the progressive lifting of restrictions from March 8 so that the public, businesses and scientists can use it as the basis for a sensible debate, as the Prime Minister suggested on Friday.”