On 17 May, the UK will head into step three of the lockdown roadmap. This month, international travel is expected to resume, customers will be welcomed into indoor hospitality venues, cinemas will reopen to the public, and overnight stays will also be permitted once again. There’s a lot to look forward to this month, but a lot more to look forward to on 21 June.
Life after 21 June
As per PM Boris Johnson's plan, 21 June marks the day life will go back to pre-pandemic ways. At least, that’s the hope for now.
After a year and a half of social distancing, that measure will finally be lifted throughout England. The government stated in their official COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021 Summary:
By Step 4 which will take place no earlier than 21 June, the government hopes to be in a position to remove all legal limits on social contact.
During this last stage, restaurants, pubs, and cinemas will be allowed to reopen at full capacity. Plans to bring back nightclubs, concerts and larger events are also underway. The government has initiated a series of pilot experiments to test COVID safety during large gatherings, and the first event took place last Friday. The results are yet to be determined but a government source told the Times:
The evidence we’ve got so far from the pilots is very positive and the general background on data is hugely encouraging in terms of numbers, falling deaths and hospitalisations.
Keeping the masks on
Although 21 June will be the end of social distancing, the government will maintain one critical restriction in order to safeguard the progress made so far: the obligatory wearing of face masks. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told Sky News:
We're very close now to really turning the corner and I think we still need to be careful to go as I said we don't want to see the gains lost and the sacrifices that have been made undone.
By the time we get to June 21 almost all social restrictions will be lifted, so there's only a little bit more time to go but it's right we do that in a careful way.
I do think we just need to make sure that in the last lap, if you like, that we are careful and we don't lose the gains we've made.