Secondary school reopenings will be staggered over the week because their pupils must first take a rapid test at school before they can start in-person lessons.
Secondary pupils – who will also be asked to wear masks in class – will be given ‘lateral flow’ test kits to test themselves from Covid at home twice per week.
School sports can resume as long as they are for education or part of wraparound care, like after-school clubs.
University students can also return if they need practical work or specialist facilities to complete their courses. However, other university students should remain at home and their status will be reviewed over Easter.
Unions have called for a phased reopening of schools, and there are concerns that rapid tests could miss many positive cases – as well as wrongly declaring many people positive when overall case rates are low.
But Boris Johnson said: ““The reopening of schools marks a truly national effort to beat this virus. It is because of the determination of every person in this country that we can start moving closer to a sense of normality.”
You can take your child to wraparound childcare
Wraparound childcare including childminders can restart from March 8 for all children in certain circumstances.
The valid reasons for sending your child to childcare are working, seeking work, attending education, seeking medical care or attending a support group.
Vulnerable children can attend childcare regardless of the reason.
You can have a coffee or picnic with one friend in the park
‘Recreation’ will be added to the list of valid reasons you are allowed to leave your home. This means you can sit down in any public open space, including to eat and drink. Previously you could only exercise.
You are allowed to take part in this recreation with your own household, support or childcare bubble, or with one person from another household.
If you’re meeting someone from another household there must only be two of you in total.
Children under 5 years old and two carers for a person with a disability are not counted in this limit on gatherings. But older children are not exempt, so cannot “tag along”.
When you do meet someone from another household you should not hug. “Social distancing and other safe behaviours should be followed,” the government says.
You can visit a loved one in a care home
Care home visiting rules are changing to allow each resident to nominate one named, consistent visitor.
Before each trip the visitor must take a rapid Covid test and wear PPE. However, they can hold hands with their loved one.
Previously, care home visits were allowed but only under very limited circumstances including screens or outdoor settings.
If you are not your loved one’s “named visitor”, you can still visit them but only under these more limited arrangements.
Residents with the highest needs will also be able to nominate an “essential care giver” who can have the same access and PPE arrangements as care home staff. This is where “close contact personal care from a loved one is critical for the resident’s immediate health and wellbeing.”
You can campaign for the local elections
Campaigners are allowed to start delivering leaflets and knocking on doors from March 8 for the May local elections.
Only individual campaigners may go door-to-door and while they can speak with voters on the doorstep, this should be socially distanced.
Campaigners should not go inside people’s homes.
You can’t leave home, except for limited reasons
The national ‘stay at home’ order is still in place until March 29 in England.
You can only leave your home for limited exemptions like work, education, food or medicine shopping, exercise or helping a vulnerable person.
The big difference is that outdoor “recreation” has been added to the list of exemptions.
You can’t go on holiday or stay overnight
Self-contained holidays in England with your own household will not be allowed until April 12 at the earliest – Step 2.
Holidays with multiple households, or abroad, will not be allowed until May 17 at the earliest – Step 3.
Until May 17 at the earliest, you also cannot travel to stay overnight with friends and family who aren’t in your bubble.
Even if someone is in your support bubble, you are advised to “stay local” and not travel long distances. However, this is guidance, not the law, and you cannot be fined for travelling within England if you have a reasonable excuse.
You can’t leave the country without a ‘valid reason’
Ministers first announced in January that you would need a “valid reason” to leave the country.
This was already true, given you need a reasonable excuse to leave your home, but it was not well-policed.
The roadmap said this would finally become a legal requirement from March 8.
“Outbound travellers will be legally obliged to provide their reason for travel on the Declaration to Travel form,” it said.
You can’t have a picnic with five friends at once
From March 29, people will be allowed to gather outdoors in groups of up to six people or two households, whichever is larger.
However, this new ‘Rule of Six’ not come into effect yet. For now, gatherings or multiple households are limited to just two people in total, in an outdoor public space. The two of you may have a picnic, but not invite other people to join.
You can’t go to the pub
Pub beer gardens and non-essential shops will only open from April 12 at the earliest, with indoor areas of pubs, restaurants and cafes opening from May 17 at the earliest.
Takeaway pints will be allowed to resume but only from April 12, when beer gardens can reopen anyway.
Groups of up to two households or six people will be allowed in beer gardens from April 12 at the earliest.