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written by
Jack Stratten

End of lockdown: what the roadmap means for businesses

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With the vaccine rollout successful so far and infection rates dropping, the prime minister has given the UK a roadmap for coming out of lockdown. And this time the plan is to ensure that the UK never returns to lockdown again.

The plan depends on the UK continuing to meet a set of criteria, including infection rates remaining low and the vaccine rollout going to plan. But should the UK continue to head in its current direction, these are the key milestones for small businesses...

Schools reopen - 8th March

Primary and secondary schools, as well as colleges and universities, will reopen from 8th March.

For many small business owners and employees, that will bring an end to home-schooling and free up a lot of time.

Rule of Six returns outdoors - 29th March

From this date, two households or a group of six will be able to meet outdoors, including in private gardens.

However, from a business point of view, this does not include being able to open outdoor areas for customers.

Shops reopen - 12th April

From this date, all non-essential retailers can reopen.

This includes hairdressers, beauty salons, zoos, indoor children's play areas, gyms and more. Pubs and restaurants can also serve customers seated outdoors from this date.

Domestic UK holidays will be permitted from 12th April.

Hospitality can serve indoors - 17th May

After 17th May, pubs, restaurants and other hospitality venues can serve customers indoors. People from two different households can meet indoors from this date, and outdoors groups of up to 30 are permitted.

Furthermore, cinemas, theatres, hotels and hostels can now reopen for households.

Events for large groups will be permitted but with limits in place. For example, indoor events can run at half capacity or 1000 people.

All limits lifted - 21st June

From this date, all legal limits on social contacts will be lifted - incuding nightclubs.

It may still feel like a long road, but the end is in sight. So from a small business perspective, it's time to get planning to ensure you can bounce back as quickly as possible.

You can find all the latest financial support on offer from the government here.

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