The government’s roadmap, published in full on their website, outlines four steps for easing restrictions. Although there are dates given for each step, the government has warned that they are subject to change as the plan will be guided by data rather than dates, so some stages of reopening could be delayed. The decision to move to the next step will be assessed against four tests:
• The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully.
• Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
• Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS.
• The government’s assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new COVID-19 variants of concern.
The successful roll-out of the vaccination campaign in Devon so far means everything is being done to meet the first test locally. More information about the roadmap and what happens at each step is in the graphics below.