The day where step 4 of the Roadmap to ‘normality’ is fast approaching and the question of how realistic and ambitious this date may seem is June’s hot topic.

The Government and their scientific advisors continue to disclaim that the dates laid out are a target and the restriction rules will depend on the statistics. With the effective roll-out of the vaccine across the UK, all target dates thus far have come to fruition. However, Borris Johnson has admitted that the last stage of the UK’s Lockdown has recently been threatened by “ambiguous’ data,”

What restrictions have been lifted so far?

On May 17th a lot of social restrictions were lifted, Including:

  • Sitting inside a pub or restaurant (in groups of up to six or two households).
  • Meeting anyone you like outside (up to 30 people).
  • Being able to cautiously hug loved ones.
  • Cinemas, Hotels, B&Bs and indoor play areas opened.
  • Attending a Wedding or Funeral with up to 30 guests.

What restrictions are supposed to be lifted on June 21st?

The Prime Minister and Government officials have stated that they aim to ‘lift all remaining restrictions on this date if the data supports it.

Ministers have said legal limits on social contact are to be removed and rapid testing could be used for entry to venues. If the plans for stage 4 of the UK’s social distancing strategy go as planned, it means You’ll be able to:

  • Gather in un-restricted groups of friends and family indoors and outdoors.
  • Go to a nightclub.
  • Go to large events such as festivals, sporting stadium events and concerts.
  • Host Weddings and Funerals with no restrictions.

June 21st has been dubbed ‘Freedom Day’ by the public as it presents the idea of life before COVID-19.

Is this realistic?

In recent news, there have been updates that contradict the idea that the UK will be restriction-free come June 21st. The EU has delayed putting the UK on the “ White List” for travelling meaning the UK is not classified as a country that is permitted to allow travel for leisure or without restriction.

Even though Boris Johnson has stated, “I can see nothing in the data at the moment that means we can’t go ahead with Step 4, What we need to work out is to what extent the vaccination programme has protected us, particularly the elderly and vulnerable, against a new surge – and there I’m afraid the data is still ambiguous.”

These discussions contribute to the idea that the UK’s “freedom day” will be delayed. While the Nation has been anxiously waiting for the day when restrictions across the UK are fully lifted, many stand in solidarity with the idea of delaying this date. Professor Anthony Harnden spoke to ITV News and warned that high infection rates are leading to new variants of Covid emerging. Professor Harnden also expressed his support for a continued lockdown until infection rates fall.

Below is the criteria that will need to be met in order for the UK to go ahead with its plans on the 21st of June:

  • The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully.
  • Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated.
  • Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS.
  • Assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new variants.

If you would like to see a more in-depth Government breakdown of the Roadmap out of Lockdown, click here.