Boris Johnson has set out his roadmap for leaving lockdown, with many rejoicing at the PM's optimistic announcement.

Here are the key dates as set out in his plan, which includes four crucial steps

Step one:

March 8 - All schools will open with outdoor after-school sports and activities allowed. Recreation in an outdoor public spaces will be allowed between two people, which means they can sit down for a coffee, drink or picnic.

March 29 - Outdoor gatherings of either six people or two households will be allowed including in private gardens. Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts will re-open and organised adult and children's sport, such as grassroots football, will also be permitted.

Secondary school pupils will be required to wear face coverings in classrooms and shared spaces like corridors.

Step two:

April 12 - Major parts of the economy will be allowed to reopen such as non-essential retail, hairdressers and public buildings like libraries and museums. Outdoor settings like alcohol takeaways, beer gardens, zoos and theme parks, and indoor leisure including swimming pools and gyms will also be allowed.

Self-contained holiday accommodation, such as self-catering and camp sites will be permitted under this step.

Mr Johnson said wider social contact rules will continue to apply in all settings - meaning no indoor mixing between different households will be allowed.

Funerals can continue with up to 30 people, and weddings with up to 15 guests.

Step three:

May 17 - The PM said if the data allows the 'rule of six' will be abolished for outdoor gatherings, and replaced with a limit of 30 people.

Two households will be allowed to mix indoors - with the rule of six applied in hospitality settings like pubs and restaurants.

Cinemas, hotels, performances and sporting events can also reopen although social distancing will need to remain in place.

Up to 10,000 spectators will be permitted to attend the very largest outdoor seated venues like football stadiums and up to 30 people will be able to attend weddings, receptions, funerals and wakes.

Step four:

June 21 - this step will potentially see all legal limits on social contact removed, with the final closed sectors of the economy reopened - such as nightclubs.

The government hopes that restrictions on weddings and funerals will also be abolished from June 21.

The PM has advised that four conditions must be met at each phase of lockdown easing in order to progress to the next step.

These are: 

  • The coronavirus vaccine programme continues to go to plan
  • Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently reducing the number of people dying with the virus or needing hospital treatment
  • Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospital admissions
  • New variants of the virus do not fundamentally change the risk of lifting restrictions