Large-scale gatherings could be held in just four months time under plans to scrap social restrictions and get the UK back to normal by the summer. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has outlined a four-step road-map out of the lockdown put in place because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The first step will see schools opening in just two weeks time, while two people from two different households will be able to meet up outside from March 8 as well.

Gatherings of up to six people will be then permitted from March 29.

And depending on how the vaccine rollout progresses, as well as the number of new Covid cases and deaths, all social restrictions could be eased in just four months time.

Step four of the Prime Minister’s road-map would pave the way to allow large numbers of people to return to events such as sport matches and festivals.

Nightclubs would also be allowed to open as normal.

The earliest all social rules could be scrapped is June 21.


Speaking in the Commons this afternoon, Mr Johnson said: “We will aim to remove all legal limits on social contact and on weddings and other life events, we will reopen everything up to and including nightclubs and enable large events such as theatre performances above the limits of step three – potentially using testing to reduce the risk of infection.

Mr Johnson continued: “Our journey back towards normality will be subject to resolving a number of key questions and to do this we will conduct four reviews.

“One will assess how long we need to maintain social distancing and face masks. This will also inform guidance on working from home which should continue wherever possible until this review is complete.”

He added: “A second review will consider the resumption of international travel which is vital for many businesses which have been hardest hit including retail, hospitality, tourism and aviation.

“A successor to the global travel taskforce will report by April 12 so that people can plan for the summer.”

The other two steps in the Prime Minister’s road-map out of lockdown mean:

  • From April 12 at the earliest: shops, hairdressers, nail salons, libraries, outdoor attractions and outdoor hospitality venues such as beer gardens will reopen.
  • From May 17 at the earliest, two households or groups of up to six people will be allowed to mix indoors and limited crowds will be allowed at sporting events.

The Prime Minister told MPs the approach was “cautious but also irreversible”, with the impact of the vaccination programme replacing the need for lockdown measures.

He said a “wretched year would give way to a spring and a summer that will be very different and incomparably better”.

The Prime Minister acknowledged that scientific modelling suggested that lifting lockdown measures would increase Covid-19 cases and ultimately deaths but insisted the restrictions could not continue indefinitely.

He added: “We cannot escape the fact that lifting lockdown will result in more cases, more hospitalisations and sadly more deaths.

“And this would happen whenever lockdown is lifted – whether now or in six or nine months – because there will always be some vulnerable people who are not protected by the vaccines.

“There is therefore no credible route to a zero Covid Britain, or indeed, a zero Covid world and we cannot persist indefinitely with restrictions that debilitate our economy, our physical and mental wellbeing and the life chances of our children.”