Britain has been strictly closed since January 5, with the Prime Minister returning to the March 2020 ‘stay at home’ message due to the growing number of Covid cases across the country. He announced the lockdown with the caveat that it would hopefully be the last tough time with an end in sight thanks to vaccination programs rolled out across the country.
On February 22, the prime minister outlined what he called “a one-way road to freedom” in a four-step roadmap out of lockdown. He stressed that the plan would be under constant review, led by data above dates, but with 17.5 million vaccines administered, it is realistic that the end of the final UK lockdown will be in sight. This will lead us, he said, “cautiously but irreversibly to regaining our freedoms”.
What are the four steps to get out of lockdown?
The first stage will begin on March 8, when schools return and meetings with someone outside your home for outdoor recreation, such as a coffee on an outdoor bench, a picnic in the park, or exercise, will be allowed. From March 29, the so-called ‘rule of six’ will return to the outdoors, meaning two households will be able to meet in outdoor public spaces or private gardens. From that date, we will no longer be legally bound to stay at home.
The second stage is scheduled for April 12 at the earliest, when non-essential businesses, self-care services such as hairdressers, pubs and restaurants with outdoor spaces can open. In a long-awaited ending to the scotch egg debate, those who order alcohol will be able to do so without ordering a substantial meal as well.
The third stage will start no earlier than May 17, when up to 30 people will be allowed to meet outdoors, and the rule of six will extend to indoor meetings. Restaurants and pubs will be allowed to reopen indoors, as well as theaters and concert halls.
The fourth step will take effect from June 21 at the earliest, when all legal limits on social contacts, weddings and live events will be dissolved. Even nightclubs and theatrical performances can resume, the prime minister said.
When can events happen again?
Currently we are still in the third national lockout and must not leave or be outside our homes unless there is a “reasonable excuse”. Some of these include work (in cases where it is unreasonable to do your homework), volunteering, and essential activities such as food shopping and daily exercise.
Community worship and life events fall under the category of “ reasonable excuses, ” but weddings, funerals, and religious, belief-based or memorial events related to a person’s death are all subject to limits on the number of people who can attend. Weddings and civil ceremonies can only take place in exceptional circumstances, and for a maximum of six people. The funeral can bring together 30 people.
All non-essential stores, restaurants and bars should close and households should not mix inside or outside except in a bubble of support. Nightclubs remain closed unsurprisingly.
But things will start to change from March 8, when a small, party picnic will be possible outside with someone outside of your home. Your party can grow from March 29, when the rule of six returns for outdoor dating. From April 12 you can meet up to six friends from two houses on a pub or restaurant terrace, but from May 17 a big outdoor party for up to 30 people is possible – or a meal in a dining room under the rule of six. At this point, we can also expect the private dining rooms to reopen for party reservations.
From June 21, celebrations may return to more normal than ever over the past year, with legal limits on social contact, weddings and live events removed. Nightclubs will be able to reopen and theatrical performances will resume, meaning you will suddenly have a plethora of options.
In an effort to find out exactly how we’ll be celebrating now and in the future, Luxury spoke to Jens Nisson, executive chef at caterer Bubble Food (who is run by a Michelin-starred kitchen team and works with venues. such as Cliveden House) and Johnny Roxburgh, architect of the party of the rich and famous, including the Queen, Prince William and Sting.
What will happen when we can all party again?
Jens nisson: The rulebook will be rewritten, at least to begin with. It will take hard work and a lot of cooperation between party planners, operators and chefs to find ways to come together and have a good time. Technology will certainly play a role.