Table 1

Summary of four nations’ approach to exit from lockdown

NationEngland1Scotland2Wales3Northern Ireland4
LockdownLockdownPhase 0LockdownLockdown
Step 1
  • Workers who cannot work from home now travel to work

  • Unlimited exercise outdoors

  • Non-household meetings one-on-one outdoors

  • Travel to outdoor spaces

  • Vulnerable limit contact outside household

  • Continue ‘shielding’

  • Unlimited local outdoor exercise

  • Contact with other household outdoors

  • Reopening of workplaces for work that cannot be performed at home

  • Outdoor-limited retail

  • School remains for key workers and vulnerable

  • Seeing one member out with household for care only

  • Unlimited local outdoor exercise

  • Schools remain for key workers and vulnerable

  • Workers who cannot work at home travel to work

  • Outdoor non-contact sports activities

  • Groups of 4–6 non-household members can gather outdoor

Step 2
  • Phased reopening schools

  • Other households contact ‘bubbles’ to be announced

  • Shared childcare in two households

  • Larger outdoor gatherings

  • Indoor meeting with other one household

  • On-campus laboratory work

  • Playgroups and sport courts reopen

  • Registration offices for high priority

  • Schools open for priority groups

  • Exercise with other individual or group, non-contact team sports

  • Travel for leisure and non-essential retail

  • Museums and galleries open

  • Limited cultural events

  • Schools open to wider definition of key workers

  • Non-food retail resumes

  • Gatherings of up to 10 individuals outdoors

  • Resumption of team sports training

Step 3
  • Opening of, public worship and self-care retail

  • Museums, galleries, indoor gyms and cinema open thereafter

  • Wider outdoor public gatherings, weddings, sports and cultural yet thereafter

  • Indoor meeting with multiple households

  • Longer distance travel

  • School reopen for part-time face to face

  • Museums, galleries, indoor gyms and cinema open

  • All children and students access education

  • Meeting small groups for socialisation outdoors

  • Unrestricted travel

  • All sports and cultural leisures open

  • Pubs, restaurants, non-essential indoor retail open

  • School open to priority cohorts

  • Phased return to office work

  • Gatherings of up to 30 people

  • Resumption of non-contact sports

  • Museums and galleries open

Step 4No time frame set
  • Further relaxation of face-to-face gatherings

  • Full opening of childcare, schools and universities

  • Resumption of sport and mass gatherings

  • Schools open for all pupils part-time

  • Competitive sports resume behind closed doors, leisure centres open

  • Wider range of social gatherings

Step 5
  • School extended to full time for early years

  • Extended social group gatherings

  • Resumption of contact sports

  • Spectators attend live sports and concerts