BORIS Johnson’s Covid roadmap regulations passed Parliament last week – and today lockdown rules have been eased across England.
It enshrined in law the unlocking plan for England, which will expire at the end of July, meaning people are now enjoying more freedoms than they have for months.
MPs also voted through an extension of the Coronavirus Act, which gives ministers emergency powers during the crisis – including slashing red tape so ex-doctors can return to the NHS, sick pay, furlough and other powers.
Here’s what was put into law last week, and when we can expect the lockdown easing to come in.
Step 1 – March 29:
From today Brits have finally been told they don’t need to stay at home anymore. The message has been ditched and replaced with ‘minimise travel’.
Millions of Brits were ordered to stay at home under the third national lockdown, working from their own house and unable to meet up with friends in an attempt to stop the spread of Covid.
The Rule of Six has now returned to let Brits meet up with six mates – but only outside.
Outdoor sports is now back on with tennis, golf and outdoor pools reopening across England.
The new Covid laws also came into place, meaning that people in England and Wales will be formally banned from going on holiday – and face a £5,000 fine if they are caught.
Already Brits have to fill in paperwork before they travel – and they can be fined £200 if they don’t have it.
April 5: Lockdown update from the PM
It’s expected Boris Johnson will give an update on the situation for April 12, and whether everything can be unlocked as planned.
He is also due to give an initial update on foreign holidays – including Covid vaccine passports, letting Brits know whether they might be allowed to take a foreign break.
He may give a press conference to the nation on this day, but that’s not yet confirmed.
Step 2 – April 12:
England’s freedom really does return in earnest from April.
Gyms will be able to reopen – for just for individual training.
Shaggy-haired people will finally be allowed to get a hair cut.
Pubs, restaurants and cafes will be allowed to serve food and drink outside.
You will be able to go others outside your household to drink at the pub, but only up to six, or two households.
Holiday homes are permitted to reopen too, but people are only allowed to be inside with their own household still.
The stay local order will lift and people can make trips across the country if they want to.
Shops will also be able to open their doors again.
Step 3 – May 17:
Finally, by May, pubs and restaurants can throw their doors open properly, to welcome customers inside.
The rule of six will still apply.
Closer contact services like spas and saunas can now reopen, along with other indoor activities like bingo halls, cinemas and bowling alleys.
Two households will be able to mix indoors overnight.
10,000 fans are set to be allowed back into stadiums for sport and big events – but it’s likely they will have to have a negative lateral flow test first.
Up to 30 people will be able to attend weddings and funerals.
It’s hoped Brits will be able to go on holiday abroad from this point, but the PM won’t make an announcement on that until April 5 at the earliest.
Step 4 – June 21:
The PM has said he hoped all other Covid restrictions would be able to be lifted by now.
It’s hoped there will be no cap on the number of people allowed at weddings and receptions by then.
Nightclubs will also finally be allowed to reopen after staying shut for the past year.
It is hoped the Covid laws will be left to expire then – but ministers will confirm this nearer to the time.