Most restrictions on events taking place could be lifted by 21 June, prime minister Boris Johnson has said. However, some events may be permitted to go ahead with restricted capacities, with up to 1,000 people or 50% capacity permitted from 17 May. The rules apply to England only.
Further pilot events will be run from this time, with testing, to test safety mitigation.
Addressing the House of Commons, 22 February, the prime minister revealed his roadmap out of lockdown, which he said was contingent on “data, not dates”. However, he also hinted that testing could be needed in order for large events to take place but did not specify any further details.
Ahead of the provisional 21 June start date, which the prime minister stressed would only be given the go ahead seven days in advance subject to infection rates, further pilot events would be run. “We will pilot larger events using enhanced testing with the ambition of the further easing of restrictions in the next step,” he said.
“Step 4 will begin no earlier than the 21 June. With appropriate mitigations we will aim to remove all legal limits on social contact, on weddings, and on other life events. We will open everything up to and including nightclubs and enable large events such as theatre performances beyond the limits in Step 3, potentially with the use of testing to mitigate the risk of infection.”
From 17 May, indoor events for up to 1,000 people will be permitted, or 50% capacity, with up to 4,000 permitted at outdoor events. Up to 10,000 may be permitted in seated outdoor environments, such as stadiums.
Most restrictions on meeting people outdoors, up to a limit of 30, will be lifted no earlier than 17 May. At this point, theatres, concert halls and hospitality venues will be allowed to reopen, as well as fans being allowed to return to stadiums. Capacity limits will apply depending the venue’s size, the prime minister noted.
The prime minister said that four reviews would be taking place to more accurately plan for the wider reopening. The reviews include specific certification aimed to help venues reopen safely, and the safe return of major events.
More formally organised sport can resume no earlier than 29 March. From this date, people will no longer be legally obliged to stay at home, although the prime minister said people should continue to work from home if they can and minimise travel whenever possible.
Non-essential retail, personal care and outdoor leisure attractions and pub gardens will reopen no sooner than 12 April.
The prime minister added that details of extended business support measures will be announced by the chancellor of the exchequer, Rishi Sunak, in his Budget, due 3 March.