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Large events to pilot from June in PM’s new recovery roadmap

Prime minister Boris Johnson has revealed the government’s four-step roadmap for exiting lockdown in England.

Johnson said the government would “pilot larger events using enhanced mass testing” in step four of the roadmap plan which is due to be rolled out on 21 June 2021.

As of 17 May, meetings outside of up to 30 people will be allowed with social-distancing measures in place. In addition, international travel is set to be re-established on 12 April.

“We’re really pleased that the Prime Minister has listened to the industry and has included international inbound tourism in the country’s reopening roadmap. It is critical that dialogue continues and that Government consults with industry when preparing its review on reopening international travel, due on 12th April,” UKinbound’s CEO Joss Croft said.

“As part of its review, we would ask the UK Government to work with the devolved nations, as a fragmented approach will hinder recovery. To save the summer business, Government needs to move quickly as it will take time for consumers to regain confidence to book a holiday to the UK and for the industry to prepare.

“However, it’s very clear that we are still months away from restarting international travel, and many more months before we see a significant recovery, and the industry, therefore, needs continued support. In order for our sector to survive long enough to support the UK’s economic recovery, we’re asking the Chancellor to retain furlough as long as restrictions are in place, issue sector-specific grants and extend Business Rate Relief, when he announces the Budget on the 3rd March.”

Johnson added that this four-step plan will be “cautious but irreversible” and a “one-way road to freedom.”

The four-part plan will begin on 8 March when all schools will open with outdoor after-school sports and activities allowed.

“Thank you, Boris, a clear roadmap is what we wanted and needed to put our industry on the destination to recovery – now we have one,” venuedirectory MD, Michael Begley said.

“There are still lots of hurdles to get over and, of course, we all want it all sooner and faster, but a slower but permanent solution is better than yo-yo-ing in and out of restrictions and lockdowns. What is vital now that we have these dates is that the whole industry is united in ensuring that we give corporate event planners the confidence to book live and hybrid events for Q3 and Q4 this year. We know that many bookers have been waiting for this clarification and it will be fascinating to see what impact this announcement will have on traffic and confirmations through our system over the next few days and weeks.”

Recreation in a public space – such as a park – will be allowed between two people, meaning they would be allowed to sit down for a coffee, drink or picnic.

As of 29 March, up to six people or two households will be allowed to meet outdoors, including private gardens. Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis or basketball courts will reopen and organised adult and children’s sport, such as amateur football, will also return.

Between the stages, there will be an average gap of five weeks and data will be used to inform “every step” of lifting restrictions, Johnson said.

“We will be cautious about this approach so that we do not undo the progress we have achieved so far and the sacrifices each and every one of you has made to keep yourself and others safe,” he added.

There will be four conditions that will need to be met in order to move on to the next stage of lifting lockdown restrictions in England. These include:

  1. The coronavirus vaccine programme continues to go to plan.
  2. Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently reducing the number of people dying with the virus or needing hospital treatment.
  3. Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospital admissions.
  4. New variants of the virus do not fundamentally change the risk of lifting restrictions.

The easing of restrictions will apply to the whole of England and the previously used tier system will not make a return.

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