This is when lockdown measures are likely to lift across the four UK nations

Wednesday, 6th January 2021, 4:47 pm
Updated Wednesday, 6th January 2021, 4:49 pm

Though coronavirus restrictions differ slightly between the four nations, "stay at home" orders are currently in place across the whole UK.

The restrictions have been imposed in response to a huge uptick in coronavirus cases, driven largely by a faster transmitting variant of the virus.

Once again, people in all four nations have found their lives ground to a standstill - and many are wondering how long restrictions will last.

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Largely, government officials have been vague regarding the end date of current lockdown measures, but this is everything we know so far about when they could be eased or lifted.

England

During England's last November lockdown, the end date of 2 December was stuck to, with restrictions lifted on this date as intended. This stood in contrast to the lockdown levied in March 2020, which saw measures extended several times beyond proposed end dates.

This time around, the Government have been more evasive regarding the end date of restrictions.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that the latest restrictions will be reviewed in the middle of February, with a potential easing from 19 February - the end of the school half term. Any easing will depend on the success of the ongoing vaccine rollout.

However, Michael Gove then told Sky News that restrictions are more likely to be eased at the beginning of March.

He said: "We will keep these [restrictions] constantly under review but you are absolutely right, we can't predict with certainty that we will be able to lift restrictions in the week commencing February 15-22.

"What we will be doing is everything that we can to make sure that as many people as possible are vaccinated, so that we can begin to progressively lift restrictions."

Scotland

A stay at home order was issued for Scotland by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on 4 January, coming into effect at midnight.

The new rules, which have seen schools and places of worship closed, will apply across the Scottish mainland until at least the end of January, with measures kept under review.

Northern Ireland

A stay at home order will become law in Northern Ireland on Friday 8 January, tightening rules already in place.

Northern Ireland is currently in the middle of a lockdown which has seen non-essential retail closed. The stay at home order will make it illegal for residents to leave home without a "reasonable excuse."

Ministers agreed that new measures will last until at least 6 February, to be reviewed alongside other existing lockdown measures on 21 January.

Wales

In Wales, citizens have been under a stay at home order for longer than the rest of the UK, with the country moving into the highest alert level - Level 4 - on 20 December.

First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, said that there was not "much headroom for change" to restrictions in the country given they are already so strict.

Without any further changes to rules, restrictions may be kept in place until the next three week review, planned for the end of January.