A four step plan for getting the UK back to a semblance of normality has been revealed – with pubs, bars and restaurants still facing lengthy closures.
There will be a minimum five week gap between each rule change to allow for four weeks of data, and one week of consultation to take place, apparently.
Can Boris not be trusted to count to five? Is three no longer the magic number? No one really knows why it is four steps, but this is what they mean for YOU and ME and EVERYONE.
STEP ONE – 8 March
All schools back / Meet one other person outside.
On the eighth day of the third month of the two thousand and twentieth year of our lord, Jesus Christ, the Tories reckon it is safe to turn the entire school population into guinea pigs and send all children, staff members and helpers back into the classroom in one clumsy, spluttering mess.
For those that don’t have kids, 8 March also means you will be able to; meet one other person outside (which if you’ve been down the seafront, literally everyone was doing anyway) and care home residents can have one regular named visitor.
STEP ONE PART TWO – 29 March
Six person gatherings outdoors / Grassroots sport back
That’s right! The big Tory four part plan is in fact more than four parts, because it’s 2021 and all conventional logic has been completely abandoned.
Step One Part Two, aka Step Up 2: The Streets will see groups of up to six people (or two households regardless of size) able to meet up outside and the official “Stay At Home” order will end. This bewilderingly includes meeting in gardens, but not inside houses, so you better get ready for people to piss in your bushes I guess.
Grassroots outdoors sports will also be allowed, so; five a side, outdoor swimming, tennis, launching tins of Super Tenants at your mate’s head, all the classic British pastimes will be BACK.
STEP TWO – No earlier than 12 April
Non essential retail / Barbers / Tattoo studios / Outdoor pub spaces / Gyms open
Step two good and proper will see non-essential retail shops reopen, meaning that you can finally get a haircut, some reckless tattoos, and some dead cheap socks from Matalan, providing you have a mask slapped over your damn mouth and nose.
Indoor sports facilities and gyms will also open,
MORE IMPORTANTLY OUTDOOR PUB SPACES WILL BE ABLE TO SERVE TABLE SERVICE.
Patrons must be seated throughout the visit and there will be no need for a fucking substantial meal either. Whilst this is, of course, good news, it must be taken with a pinch of salt. Many pubs will not have an outdoor area large enough to recoup opening costs, or even an outdoor seating area at all. The worry must then be that the government will use this facade of opening to cut crucial rent reliefs and fiscal support structures.
Whilst this is not for certain, things will surely become much clearer in the March budget – if pubs can wait that long.
STEP THREE – No earlier than 17 May
PUBS BACK / Nearly all outdoor restrictions lifted / Indoor mixing allowed / Indoor venues allowed to work at reduced capacity / Spectators back to sporting venues
Step three is the big one. Pubs, restaurants and bars will open their doors to groups of six (or two households again) and indoor mixing at people’s homes will be allowed.
Almost all outdoor mixing will be allowed for groups of up to 30, so basically anything short of a mini festival will be fine and dandy according to the Tories.
If you’ve been in a friends garden since April you will also finally be able to go inside and use the loo, which will no doubt be a relief.
Spectators will also be allowed back into venues, with a maximum capacity of 1,000 or one half of regular operating limits, whichever is smaller – outdoors this will be 4,000.
Sports venues will also see the return of punters – Football stadiums will have a max capacity of 10,000 or half of its regular attendance limits.
STEP FOUR – No earlier than 21 June
All limits removed / Nightclubs open / Large events can take place
Basically, everything is open. Nightclubs, festivals, indoor concerts, you name it, as long as things are heading the right direction there will be sweeping legislative changes aimed at removing mixing rules.
There will, apparently, be a review of social distancing measures also – but having become acutely aware of how gross everyone is, I will definitely be continuing to wear a mask in Tesco, you ‘orrible lot.
Well, according to The Guardian there will be four key reviews ongoing throughout the unlocking process, namely:
- Whether ‘Covid status certificates’ could be introduced to aid opening
- An ‘Events research programme’ will look to run pilot events to test the effects of large crowd gatherings. This will reportedly start in April.
- The Department for Transport will look into unlocking international travel.
- And, as mentioned, there will be a consultation on social distancing measures – One metre rule, masks in shops, reduced capacity on transport etc.
What does it all mean? Well, if the last year is anything to go by, it means this article will be completely wide of the mark and none of this will play out as above.
Until then we can live in hope, wash our hands regularly, stay safe, and pull our masks up over our fucking noses, for god sake, what the absolute fuck is that all about, Jesus Christ.
Peace, love and pints.