4 Step plan for lockdown easing

It’s good news that we have a set of dates, and a clear 4 step plan out of lockdown, but it is still a long way off for some businesses, who have been closed for a long time now.


We also have the Chancellor’s Budget update from 3 March 2021, which explains how this 4 step plan will be funded.

The following 4 step plan will be reviewed regularly, and does depend on certain criteria continuing to be met.

**UPDATE 14 JUNE 2021**

The 4th stage of lockdown easing was due to happen on 21 June 2021.

Step 1:

8 March 2021

  • Schools, colleges and after-schools clubs re-opening
  • You can meet one person from outside your household
  • Care home residents can nominate a named visitor, as long as they’re tested and wear PPE
  • You should still stay at home

29 March 2021: This coincides with the Easter school break

  • Rule of 6 will returns, including private gardens
  • You can meet up to 6 people or 2 households outdoors
  • Outdoor sports facilities can reopen, and formally organised outdoor sports
  • Stay at Home order ends, but you should work from home if you can

Step 2:

12 April 2021

  • The following businesses can re-open:
  • Non essential retail
  • Hair and beauty, tattoo parlours
  • Indoor leisure
  • Holiday lettings (self-contained accommodation)
  • Zoos, public libraries, theme parks
  • Hospitality can re-open outdoors only
    • No requirement for alcohol to be accompanied by a “substantial meal”
  • Zoos, public libraries, theme parks
  • Up to 30 people can attend funerals, only 15 for weddings, wakes etc

Step 3:

17 May 2021

  • Most outdoor social contact rules will be lifted
  • But limit of 30 on meeting outdoors
  • You can meeting indoors but the rule of 6 will apply
  • Pubs, restaurants and hotels can re-open indoors
  • Also cinemas, theatres, sports stadia
  • The largest outdoor seated venues can have up to 10,000 people
  • Up to 30 people can attend weddings, receptions, wakes and funerals

Step 4:

**UPDATE 14 JUNE 2021**

The 4th stage of lockdown easing was due to happen on 21 June 2021.


  • Today Senior Ministers have signed off on a delay of 4 weeks to stage 4
  • This means that capacity limits on pubs, restaurants and cinemas will remain in force, and nightclubs will stay shut.
  • Weddings and wakes will be able to continue with more than 30 people though.

New date: 19 July 2021

  • All limits hopefully eased
  • Nightclubs can re-open
  • Restrictions for large events at step 3 should be lifted but using testing

What you can do now

  • It’s great to have dates to work towards, but do bear in mind that these may still change.
  • In some cases it’s still a long time to be closed, so we urge you to look at your finances, look at your cash, and how long it will last.
  • If you do have budgets and forecasts set for the year ahead, do these need reviewing?
  • Look after yours and your loved ones’ health and wellbeing
  • Can we help? Do get in touch if we can help you to make a plan.

What about financial support?

  • We are expecting updates on new financial support to be announced in the Budget on 3 March 2021.
  • We’ll be live updating our private Small Biz Facebook page on the day