The Prime Minister has announced the Roadmap out of lockdown over the coming months. This will allow for the restoration of our freedoms, while protecting against Covid. The resolve of the British public over the past year, along with the success from the NHS in vaccinating 17.5 million people has meant that such changes in the coming weeks are possible. The Prime Minister made clear that it is not possible to get to a point of ‘zero-covid’, hence why the roadmap will remain cautious but irreversible.
As the vaccination roll out continues at pace, the Government is targeting having every adults to be vaccinated by the end of July. The Four Tests set out by the Government will form the basis of any decision to move onto the next Step. Five week gaps will be left between each step. This is because it takes four weeks to get data on the effect of any changes, and then a week to give advance notice to business and other stakeholders.
These Four Tests are:
- 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 of Concern.
If these Four Tests are met, then the following Steps will take place:
The Government will also be conducting reviews into social distancing and face masks, the safe return of large events, international travel, the role of Covid-status certification in the reopening of our economy.
These changes mean that we can begin to see a return to normality, see our families and do the things we enjoy doing. We must, of course, remain vigilant to developments or mutations, but the end is in sight, and as the Prime Minister highlighted, the Spring and Summer will be incomparably better.