Johnson announced a 4-stage roadmap out of lockdown this afternoon (22/02)Lucas Maddalena

University students on courses requiring “practical teaching, specialist facilities, or on-site assessments” will be permitted to return for face-to-face teaching on 8th March, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced to the House of Commons today (22/02) as part of the government's "cautious" roadmap out of lockdown. 

This will coincide with the return of all primary and secondary school students.

The Prime Minister said that a “review” will take place “by the end of the Easter holidays” to determine when the remaining university students will be permitted to return.

The latest published guidance states that: “returning students should be tested twice upon their return to university, or they should self-isolate for ten days instead.”

Alongside the return of schools and some university students, it was also announced that people will also be able to meet one other person outdoors from 8th March for recreational activities, rather than just for exercise.

Meanwhile, the ‘rule of six’, allowing six people or two households to meet outdoors, will be reinstated from 29th March.

Johnson’s plans are divided into four stages, each scheduled five weeks apart to allow for adequate monitoring of changes in restrictions. 

Stage 2 will involve the reopening of retail outlets, as well as hairdressers, museums, and outdoor tables at pubs and restaurants. It will be introduced no earlier than 12th April.


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A review into international travel will conclude before the beginning of Stage 3 of the roadmap, which will consider how to restart travel, and the use of both vaccine certificates and testings. Stage 3 will be introduced no earlier than the 17 May.

More broadly, Johnson expressed his hope that all restrictions could end by June 21st at the earliest.

In his statement in the House of Commons, Johnson emphasised that “the end really is in sight.”

Leader of the Opposition Sir Keir Starmer, in response to the statement, praised Johnson’s emphasis on “caution” and called the approach a “welcome change.”