COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021: roadmap reviews

Previously we reported the COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021 (Roadmap), outlining that the second step for easing the lockdown might start from 12 April 2021.

The article can be accessed here:

On 5 April 2021 the Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a statement at the coronavirus press conference, confirming that from Monday 12 April 2021, the government will move to Step Two of their roadmap – “re-opening shops, gyms, zoos, holiday campsites, personal care services like hairdressers and, of course, beer gardens and outdoor hospitality of all kinds.”

They are also “ increasing the number of visitors to care homes from one to two – to allow residents to see more of their loved ones.”

The full speech can be accessed here.

In the speech the Prime Minister also referred to a publication of their early thinking on their four reviews, on the safe return of major events, on social distancing, the potential role of Covid status certification, and on the resumption of international travel.

In the policy paper “Roadmap Reviews: Update “ the Cabinet Office point out that the success of the UK’s vaccination programme does not provide universal protection. While it is certain that vaccines have at least some impact on transmission, the extent of this is still unknown. Even after two doses the vaccine will not be 100% effective and some people will not take up the offer of a vaccine. As a result, some measures may be required for a period after all adults have been offered a vaccine, in order to prevent a surge in hospitalisations which could put unsustainable pressure on the NHS.

The roadmap review includes :

  • Whether and how COVID-status certification might be used to reopen our economy, reduce restrictions on social contact, and improve safety.
  • Notification that the Global Travel Taskforce will publish its report later this week on how a risk-based “traffic light” system might help non-essential international travel to return.  At this stage the government cannot confirm whether non-essential international travel can resume on 17 May 2021, or whether they will need to wait longer before lifting the outbound travel restriction.
  • How the Events Research Programme will examine the extent to which COVID-status certification would help towards the return of crowds to mass events and closed settings, from football matches to theatre performances, and the reopening of nightclubs.
  • The Social Distancing Review exploring whether existing rules, designed to limit virus transmission, could be relaxed in different settings.

The policy paper can be accessed here.

We recommend that all local VCSE organisations read the policy paper and roadmap to gain further understanding of what changes come into place from 12 April 2021 and what further easing decisions remain to be concluded, in order to help plan their future service delivery.