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UK road map out of Covid-19 published

The UK government published its long-awaited path out of Covid lockdown this week. The long slow release of the lockdown is hoped, alongside vaccinations, to ensure that the UK does not require another full lockdown.

The key dates for the hospitality industry are

8 March Schools re-open, students can now take wine trade exams
29 March Groups of up to 6 can meet outdoors.
12 April Non-essential retail can open and Hospitality can serve people outdoors.
17 May Indoor hospitality opens up.
21 June All legal restrictions removed and nightclubs are allowed to open up.

The plan is tentative and delays in the dates are likely, but the hope is that with the successful vaccination program, the Covid-19 transmission risk will decrease over the summer. The big risk will be a new variant that could increase infection and deaths again. The way to mitigate against this will be to ensure that the whole population is vaccinated by next winter. This is possible, but it is highly likely that older, more vulnerable people may need a booster shot to help manage any new variants. Vaccines are going to be with us for a while.