Boris Johnson has set out the UK government’s roadmap to cautiously ease coronavirus lockdown restrictions in England.

In step two of the prime minister’s four-stage roadmap outlining the easing of restrictions, it was announced that non-essential retail in England is to open no earlier than 12 April.  

The UK government’s current ‘stay at home’ order is also to stay in place until 29 March at the earliest, although it says you should continue to work from home where possible.

Full details of each step in the roadmap can be found at

Before proceeding to each step of the roadmap, the government said it will examine the data to assess the impact of previous steps. This assessment will be based on four areas: the continued success of the vaccine deployment programme; evidence that the vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated; coronavirus infection rates; and any new coronavirus variants.

There will be a minimum of five weeks between each step — four weeks for the data to reflect changes in the restrictions, followed by seven days’ notice of the restrictions to be eased, in order to help businesses and individuals to prepare for the changes.

The prime minister added that the UK government will continue to work closely with the devolved administrations, and are setting out approaches for easing the lockdown restrictions in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.