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COVID-19: Easing The Lockdown Restrictions: Update

Posted by: Gherson Immigration

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, unveiled on Monday a four-step plan to begin easing lockdown restrictions in England. The proposal will seek to re-open businesses, including those within the hospitality industry, which have been closed for the best part of a year.

Coronavirus and national lockdown policies have had an unprecedented impact on the UK’s economy, immigration policies and healthcare systems since March 2020.

The mandatory closure of schools and businesses (including restaurants, retail shops and hotels) has affected thousands of migrants who are present in the UK as Entrepreneurs, Innovators, Investors, Students, and Skilled Workers.

The press conference held yesterday outlined the following four-part plan to revive the UK economy:

Step One

From 8 March 2021:

  • All schools to re-open
  • Ability to meet one person outside the household outdoors
  • Care home residents able to receive one visitor
  • Stay at home order remains in place

From 29 March 2021:

  • Rule of Six reinstated
  • Outdoor sports (including tennis and basketball) allowed
  • Requirement to stay locally
  • Overseas travel not allowed unless for a permitted reason

Step Two

From 12 April 2021:

  • Non-essential retail businesses to re-open (including hairdressers, nail salons, libraries, gyms, zoos and theme parks)
  • Pubs and restaurants can re-open outdoors, and no curfew to be implemented
  • Ability to travel within the UK – one household can stay at a cottage or holiday let

Step Three

From 17 April 2021:

  • Rule of Six no longer required outdoors
  • Two households are able to meet indoors
  • Cinemas, museums, hotels, sporting events, and performances to re-open
  • International travel possible

Step Four

From 21 June 2021:

  • Ministers to carry out a review of social distancing and other “long-term measures”, including the ‘one-metre plus’ rule and the requirement to wear face coverings
  • Consideration to lift the ‘work from home’ guidance which should be followed until the review has taken place
  • Potential to lift all legal limits on social contact
  • Remaining sectors within the hospitality industry (i.e. nightclubs) to be re-opened
  • Restrictions on weddings and funerals to be lifted

Although the news presents the welcome hope of a return to ‘normality’, the Prime Minister has stressed that each of these deadlines and policies could change depending on the scale of the ongoing threat from Coronavirus.

In the meantime, the UK Government and the Home Office have issued several COVID-19 policies to protect migrants who are stranded in the UK or who are unable to meet their visa conditions due to the pandemic.

If you are unable to leave the UK before the expiry of your leave, or if you may not be able to meet the conditions of your visa due to Coronavirus, please contact us for further information.

Please note that the information in this blog is current at the date and time of posting. The situation regarding policy and guidance based on the COVID-19 pandemic is subject to change at short notice. We shall be monitoring all aspects of UK immigration which may be impacted by the coronavirus closely, so please do keep updated with further blogs and articles which we will be posting on this site.

The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.

©Gherson 2021

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