Follow us:

Boris Johnson’s Covid-19 roadmap: When can I see friends and family indoors?

07 April 2021

n February 22, Boris Johnson announced his “road map” out of lockdown, with a four-part plan to relax coronavirus restrictions over the coming months.

One of the main areas Mr Johnson covered was how social restrictions will be eased... but only if four tests are met at each stage.

These tests include the success of the vaccines rollout, whether there is evidence vaccines are reducing hospital admissions and deaths, the level of infection rates and the presence of any new Covid variants.

From the revival of the “rule of six” to the future of indoor mixing, here’s what Mr Johnson said about when people might be able to meet up again with their friends and family:

When will we be able to see friends and family again?

This coincided with the full reopening of schools across England.

Three week later, on March 29, outdoor gatherings were once again permitted either under the rule of six or between two households.

This means groups of a maximum of six people from multiple households can get together outside, including in private gardens, with a greater number allowed if the meet-up is between two households only.

It coincides with schools breaking up for Easter, meaning that people can have contact with loved ones and friends whom they may not have seen for a long time during the holidays.

The “stay at home” message has also come to an end, allowing people to go out more. It will be replaced by a new instruction to “stay local”. 

From April 12, pubs and restaurants can reopen for outdoor purposes only, meaning people will be able to meet friends or family in beer gardens as long as they abide by the rule of six or are made up of two households.

From May 17 onwards, Downing Street hopes most social contact rules will be lifted outdoors, including the rule of six or two household limit.  However, it will remain illegal to gather with more than 30 people in a park or garden.

When will we be able to meet friends and family indoors again?

Currently, socialising indoors is not permitted unless under special circumstances including voluntary or charitable services, informal childcare assistance and providing emergency assistance.

Under Mr Johnson’s road map, indoor mixing will be allowed again from May 17, but only according to the rule of six or the two household limit.

Will social distancing still be in place?

Social distancing measures have been enforced throughout the pandemic and it’s likely that the road map will encourage people to still keep a certain distance as lockdown eases.

Speaking about the possibility of restrictions in future, Sir Patrick Vallance, Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government, said: “It’s possible that coming into next winter in particular, certain things may be necessary.

“And Tony Fauci yesterday said in the US that he thought that things like masks may be needed next winter.

“I think we’re in the same position that it may be necessary next winter to have things like mask-wearing in certain situations.

“Hand hygiene should remain part of the norm. Making sure that if we get the sorts of symptoms that we know are associated with Covid we stay off work.”

When will we be able to travel?

From April 12, people will also be able to go on holiday with their own household as long as it is to self-contained accommodation such as holiday lets and campsites.

However, they have to be places where indoor services are not shared with other households.

Foreign travel will be reviewed on May 17 at the earliest.

How is the Government reaching its decisions over easing restrictions?

The Prime Minister said his road map will contain four tests for easing restrictions.

The Government will take into account the success of the vaccines rollout, whether there is evidence they are reducing hospital admissions and deaths, the level of infection rates and the presence of any new Covid variants.

Such data will be examined ahead of each step along the road map before measures are unlocked any further.