A four-stage plan could see England’s coronavirus restrictions finally lifted by June 21, Boris Johnson has announced.

This is what we learnt from his speech to the House of Commons this afternoon: 

 1. 'No route to zero Covid Britain'

There is “no credible route to a zero-Covid Britain nor indeed a zero-Covid world”, Boris Johnson said as he admitted any lifting of lockdown restrictions would lead to more cases and deaths. He told MPs: “So, as the modelling released by Sage today shows, we cannot escape the fact that lifting lockdown will result in more cases, more hospitalisations and sadly more deaths.

“And this would happen whenever lockdown is lifted – whether now or in six or nine months – because there will always be some vulnerable people who are not protected by the vaccines.

2. Home schooling end date

All pupils in England’s schools will return to class from March 8, the Government said. Boris Johnson said the return of students will be supported by twice weekly testing of secondary school and college pupils.

3. Beauty treatments booking dates

From April 12 at the earliest shops, hairdressers, nail salons, libraries, outdoor attractions and outdoor hospitality venues such as beer gardens will be allowed to reopen, the Government’s road map said.

4. When you might be able to see your family indoors

From May 17 at the earliest, two households or groups of up to six people will be allowed to mix indoors and limited crowds will be allowed at sporting events, the Government’s road map said.

5. Clubbing and large events 

From June 21 at the earliest, all remaining restrictions on social contact could be lifted, larger events can go ahead and nightclubs could finally reopen, according to the Government’s road map.

6. Caution is of utmost importance

Boris Johnson said he will not take the risk of having to reimpose restrictions as a result of lifting lockdown at a quicker pace.

He told the Commons: “The chief medical officer is clear that moving any faster would mean acting before we know the impact of each step, which would increase the risk of us having to reverse course and reimpose restrictions, I won’t take that risk.

“Step one will happen from March 8, by which time those in the top four priority groups will be benefiting from the increasing protection they receive from their first dose of the vaccine.”

7. More news to come on continuing financial support

Boris Johnson moved to reassure those receiving financial support during the pandemic, saying the Government “will not pull the rug out” and will protect jobs and livelihoods in next week’s Budget.

8. Restrictions could be back - depending on variants

Boris Johnson said: “Finally, we must remain alert to the constant mutations of the virus. Next month we will publish an updated plan for responding to local outbreaks with a range of measures to address variants of concern, including surge PCR testing and enhanced contact tracing.

“We can’t I am afraid rule out re-imposing restrictions at local or regional level if evidence suggests they are necessary to contain or suppress a new variant which escapes the vaccines.”