Roadmap out of lockdown – how will it affect Lyme Regis?

boris johnsonTHE Prime Minister delivered his ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown yesterday (Monday), which could see social distancing become a thing of the past by summer.

Boris Johnson announced a series of steps on how the country will come out of its third national lockdown.

This will start with pupils returning to schools on March 8 and finish with the aim of lifting all legal limits on social distancing on June 21 at the earliest.

Here’s the dates you need to know:

March 8

  • All children and students will return to face-to-face learning in schools and colleges.
  • Wraparound childcare and other supervised children’s activities can resume where they enable parents to work, seek work, attend education, seek medical care or attend a support group.
  • Care home residents will be allowed one regular visitor provided they are tested and wear PPE.
  • The Stay at Home requirement will remain, but people can leave home for recreation outdoors, such as a coffee or picnic with their household or support bubble, or with one person outside their household.
  • Some university students on practical courses will be able to return to face to face learning.

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 be allowed to reopen, and people can take part in formally organised outdoor sports.
  • The Stay at Home order will end, although many lockdown restrictions will remain, for example you should continue to work at home where possible and overseas travel bans will remain.

April 12

  • Non-essential retail, personal care premises, such as hairdressers and nail salons, and public buildings, such as libraries and community centres, will reopen.
  • Most outdoor attractions and settings, including zoos and theme parks, will reopen although wider social contact rules will apply in these settings to prevent indoor mixing between different households. Drive-in cinemas and drive-in performances will also be permitted.
  • Indoor leisure facilities, such as gyms and swimming pools, will reopen – but only for use by people on their own or with their household.
  • Hospitality venues can serve people outdoors only. There will be no need for customers to order a substantial meal with alcohol and no curfew – although customers must order, eat and drink while seated.
  • Self-contained accommodation, such as holiday lets, where indoor facilities are not shared with other households, can reopen.
  • Funerals can continue with up to 30 people, and the numbers able to attend weddings, receptions and commemorative events such as wakes will rise to 15 (from 6).

May 17

  • Outdoors, most social contact rules will be lifted – although gatherings of over 30 people will remain illegal.
  • Outdoor performances such as outdoor cinemas, outdoor theatres and outdoor cinemas can reopen. Indoors, the rule of six or two households will apply, although this will be kept under review.
  • Indoor hospitality, entertainment venues such as cinemas and soft play areas, the rest of the accommodation sector, and indoor adult group sports and exercise classes will also reopen.
  • Larger performances and sporting events in indoor venues with a capacity of 1,000 people or half-full (whichever is lower) will also be allowed, as will those in outdoor venues with a capacity of 4000 people or half-full (whichever is lower).
  • In the largest outdoor seated venues where crowds can spread out, up to 10,000 people will be able to attend (or a quarter-full, whichever is lower).
  • Up to 30 people will be able to attend weddings, receptions and wakes, as well as funerals. Other life events that will be permitted include bar mitzvahs and christenings.

June 21

  • It is hoped all legal limits on social contact can be removed.
  • Restrictions will be lifted on nightclubs, large events and performances.
  • This will also guide decisions on whether all limits can be removed on weddings and other life events.

The dates given above are the earliest at which restrictions will be eased at each stage. This will be based on four tests:

  • 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.

There will be a minimum of five weeks between each step – four weeks for the data to reflect changes in restrictions, followed by seven days’ notice of the restrictions to be eased.

For more details on the easing of lockdown restrictions visit www.gov.uk

What does the roadmap mean for Lyme Regis?

Children will return to local primary schools and The Woodroffe School in Lyme Regis from March 8.

Organised sport can start from March 29, which means the 2020/21 football season may resume, although announcements from local leagues have not yet been made.

Businesses that are currently closed, including non-essential shops, hairdressers and gyms, as well as public buildings such as libraries, may start to reopen in Lyme Regis from April 12.

Hospitality venues can also start serving people outdoors only, but with limited outdoor seating at most of Lyme’s pubs and restaurants it is unclear whether any local businesses will take up this opportunity.

Self-contained accommodation, such as holiday lets, can also reopen from April 12 meaning Lyme is likely to see an influx of visitors from this date onwards.

The rest of the accommodation sector can open from May 17 and Lyme is anticipating a particularly busy summer season.

Indoor hospitality and venues can also reopen from May 17 – the date Lyme’s many pubs, restaurants and cafes have been waiting for.

This means attractions such as the Marine Theatre, which has remained largely closed for almost a year, will also be allowed to reopen.

Social distancing guidelines may be scrapped on June 21, meaning large events will be able to go ahead. This will be welcome news to organisers of Lyme’s popular festivals and major events.

Initial dates for major local events which fall after June 21 include the following:

  • July 3 – B Sharp Busking Festival and Lyme Regis Sailing Club Centenary Sail Past
  • July 10 – Uplyme and Lyme Regis Horticultural Society Show
  • July 17 – Day of Morris
  • July 21 – Somers Day Celebrations and Parade
  • July 24 to 31 – Lyme Regis Lifeboat Week
  • August 7 to 8 – Lyme Regis Sailing Club Centenary Regatta
  • August 7 to 14 – Lyme Regis Regatta and Carnival Week
  • August 14 – Lyme Regis Gig Regatta
  • August 27 to 30 – Lyme Folk Weekend
  • September 2 to 3 – Landance
  • September 12 – Lyme Splash

It is not yet known whether events scheduled for earlier in the year will still be able to go ahead in some format, with announcements expected from organisers in the coming weeks.

These include the Easter Bonnet Parade, the new ‘eat: Lyme Regis’ festival, Lyme Regis Fossil Festival, the May Fete, Blessing of the Boats, Jazz Jurassica, Uplyme Fete, and Guitars On The Beach, which was scheduled for just two days before restrictions are expected to be lifted.

LymeOnline will be reporting on event announcements and business re-openings as we receive news. You’ll also be able to find details of upcoming events in our What’s On section and businesses in our Local Directory.

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