BORIS Johnson revealed his road map out of lockdown yesterday which will see restrictions eased gradually across England.

A data-driven approach was emphasised during the announcement, with caution being a key aspect of easing the rules.

The Prime Minister set out four stages of the lifting of measures, starting on March 8, with schools reopening.

Alongside this, two people will be allowed to meet outdoors for recreational purposes.

The rule of six in outdoor settings will come into force on March 29, while outdoor sports will be permitted.

Step two will begin on April 12 subject to the data. This will see non-essential retail, hairdressers and public buildings reopening.

Beer gardens and indoor leisure venues will be allowed to reopen at this stage.

The Prime Minister said that step three will begin on May 17, where the rule of six will be abolished for outdoor settings.

Two households will be allowed to mix indoors with the rule of six.

Step four on June 21 could see all legal limits on social contact removed, with the final closed sectors of the economy reopened.

However Mr Johnson warned that four conditions must be met for each phase of the lockdown.

These are the rollout of the vaccine programme, evidence that vaccines are decreasing Covid deaths and hospitalisations, no hospital admission surges caused by infection rates, and no new variants of the virus.

Cllr Nick Peal, leader of Bolton Labour Group, welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement.

He said: “I’m pleased that the Prime Minister has chosen to ignore the arguments of many his own Tory backbenchers, to end lockdown too quickly, and instead has taken a more cautious approach.

“This is precisely the right thing to do, and I am sure even he would acknowledge, should have been the approach he took in the last two premature ending of lockdowns.

“A step-by-step approach, subject to data based reviews, that could extend the timetable as laid out, is at last, the right way to do this. Today's announcement has only been made possible by the amazing work carried out by our brilliant NHS, in rolling out the vaccine so effectively.”