Boris Johnson has set out his Government's exit strategy for easing the latest Covid lockdown restrictions.

Speaking to MPs in the House of Commons this afternoon he laid out a four-step plan, which will not be completed until the summer.

Follow the latest updates and reaction on the lockdown announcement in our live blog

The PM said there will be at least five weeks between stages to assess the impact on the spread of the virus and prepare businesses for the next move.

But what does it mean for Oldham?


- As part of step one all years in England can go back to the classroom from March 8, with outdoor after-school sports and activities allowed to restart as well.

- All secondary school and college students will be tested twice-weekly.

The Oldham Times:


- Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts are set to reopen at the end of March, and organised adult and children’s sport, including grassroots football, can return from March 29.

Seeing friends and family

- Socialising in parks and public spaces with one other person will be permitted in a fortnight, when the rules are relaxed, to allow people to sit down for a drink or picnic.

- Care home residents will be allowed a single visitor, with visitors required to take a lateral flow test and wear personal protective equipment.

- A further easing of restrictions will take place on March 29 when the school Easter holidays begin – with larger groups allowed to gather in parks and gardens.

- By the Easter holidays the “rule of six” will return, along with new measures allowing two households totalling more than six people to meet.

- In step three, which will be no earlier than May 17 and at least five weeks after the second step, the Government will further ease limits on social contact.

- Outdoors, the rule of six and two household requirement will be lifted, although gatherings of more than 30 people in parks and gardens will remain illegal.

- Meanwhile, up to six people or a larger group from up to two households will be permitted to meet indoors, but this is subject to review.

The Oldham Times:

Non-essential shops, pubs and restaurants 

- At least five weeks after step one and no earlier than April 12, non-essential retail, personal care premises – such as hairdressers and nail salons – libraries and museums will be permitted to reopen.

-Hospitality venues will be permitted to reopen but for outdoor purposes only, meaning restaurants and pubs will only be able to serve customers outside, where the rule of six or two households will apply.

- The requirement for a substantial meal and curfews will both be scrapped, but customers will need to be seated when ordering food or drink.

- Under stage three (at least May 17) Indoor hospitality – inside pubs and restaurants – is set to open up at this point.

Gyms and leisure 

- Indoor gyms and leisure facilities, such as swimming pools, will be permitted to reopen, but the requirements for social contact in indoor settings will continue.

- This means people will only be permitted to visit a museum or exercise in a gym alone or with their own household.

Other parts of stage two 

- Self-contained accommodation, such as campsites and holiday lets, where indoor facilities are not shared with other households, will also be able to reopen for overnight stays by households only.

- Funerals will be able to continue with up to 30 people, while the number of people who can attend wedding receptions and wakes will rise from the current six to 15.

The Oldham Times: Cinema listings and film trailers

Cinemas, theatres and live music

- Under stage three (at least May 17) entertainment venues such as cinemas and children’s play areas can reopen.

- Larger performances and sporting events in indoor venues, with a capacity of 1,000 people or half-full, whichever is lower, will be allowed, while outdoors it will be 4,000 people or half-full, again whichever is lower.

- Up to 30 people will be able to attend weddings, receptions and wakes, as well as funerals, and other life events will be permitted, such as bar mitzvahs and christenings.

Step four

- The last step will be no earlier than June 21 – and at least five weeks after the third step – when it is hoped that all legal limits on social contact will be removed.

- It is also hoped that the final closed sectors of the economy, such as nightclubs, could be allowed to reopen, while restrictions on large events could also be eased.