Full list of important lockdown and vaccine dates you need to know in 2021

Coronavirus has been impacting our lives for just under a year now, despite the majority of us being certain it wouldn't be more than a few weeks until things were "back to normal".

As we deal with the government's ever-changing guidelines and restrictions, there's seems to be months of work ahead in order to keep the UK's R-rate down despite the rapid roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Downing Street has set a number of key dates between now and September that we should all make a note of.

Of course, they're subject to change (and knowing our PM, probably will change) but there are a number of vaccine and everyday life-related targets.

The Mirror has written a timeline of the Government's key dates and all you need to know…

January 18

Coronavirus vaccines will be offered to millions of over-70s and the clinically extremely vulnerable from today as the Government expands the rollout amid a border crackdown to keep out new strains.

More than 3.8 million people in the UK – including over-80s, care home residents, and NHS and social care staff – have already received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, but from Monday it will be rolled out to the next two priority groups

January 24

This is the deadline the NHS has set in England for all older care home residents and their carers to get a first dose of vaccine.

There are around 300,000 care home residents in the UK and they were the top priority group for the vaccine rollout.

January 29

The current measures to stop the spread of coronavirus in Wales will be reviewed by January 29, said First Minister Mark Drakeford.

January 31

The government says by this date it will have the capacity to deliver two million doses of vaccine a week.

On current trends they’re expected to hit this target, but the actual wording of it is quite woolly.

This is also the deadline for having 50 mass vaccination centres up and running in England. As of January 18 the number is due to be 17.

February 1

This is the earliest date the current lockdown in Scotland is expected to be lifted.

February 6

The current lockdown regulations in Northern Ireland are in place until 6 February, but will have been reviewed on January 21.

February 15

When lockdown began, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the target was to have all 15million of the most vulnerable people in the UK offered a vaccine by February 15.

They are all over-70s, all elderly care home residents and their carers, all shielders and frontline NHS and social care staff.

After this, officials will move on to administering first doses to the next priority groups – all over-50s and younger “at risk” groups.

Around this time the government’s advisors are meant to rule on how priority will work for the final phase of the vaccine rollout – in other words, whether teachers, shop workers and police will get it first.

February 22

This is the earliest date lockdown in England was meant to ease, with schools opening and England returning to a tier system.

Mr Johnson said when he announced the lockdown: “I hope we can steadily move out of lockdown, reopening schools after the February half term and starting, cautiously, to move regions down the tiers.”

But it looks like this date will be delayed into March .

March 8

According to vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi this is the date immunity from the first round of vaccines will 'kick in' for all of the first cohort – the most vulnerable.

So this is the date – two to three weeks after February 15 – when lockdown could safely start to be lifted in England.

March 31

This is the date the current lockdown legislation in England expires. If lockdown hasn't begun to be eased by this point, new legislation will be needed.

April 4

Easter Sunday. Mr Johnson claimed restrictions would be substantially lifted.

The PM said: “I think we can certainly look forward to a very, very different world in this country, from Easter onwards.”

April 30

This is the date by which all over-50s and at-risk groups are meant to have been offered their first dose, according to the NHS.

17million people should have been offered a first vaccine dose by this date. Millions more will be getting their second dose at the same time.

The NHS will move onto giving first doses to the final, lowest-priority group – all adults under 50 without major health issues.

These 21million people will be sorted into priority groups and it’s thought teachers and other key workers will be put first.

May

Elections will be held across the country. A logistical problem to ensure people can vote safely – and also a chance for people to show what they think of the Government response so far.

July

Second doses should be rounded off for the middle priority group, the over-50s.

It’s also the earliest prediction for all adults to be offered their first dose.

Officially the target is September for this, but government sources told the Sunday Telegraph it could be as soon as July.

September

Tory ministers have pledged all UK adults will be offered their first dose by this month.

Dominic Raab said the target was "by September”, telling Sky News: "If we can do it faster than that, great, but that's the roadmap."

September 22

The start of autumn. Professor Chris Whitty said some coronavirus restrictions could be in place until the autumn while the NHS Chief Executive Sir Simon Stevens said restrictions would be lifted between the spring and summer – with summer ending on this date.

October

The start of flu season, and mass vaccination against that disease. This may be combined with the revaccination of the most vulnerable again coronavirus at the end of 2021.

Scientists are unsure how long immunity will last from having the jab – with estimates of anything from five to nine months.

That means those currently getting the jab will likely need to have another one in October to protect them through next winter.

December

Even once all UK adults are given a first dose, second doses could go on until Christmas due to a 12-week gap.

That would mean maximum protection would only be given to the maximum size of population about a year from now.

That suggests travel restrictions could continue to exist into winter 2021, as well as some of the less invasive restrictions we’ve got used to. Scientific advisors have suggested this could include, for example, wearing masks on public transport.

Professor Whitty warned tat some rules – such as masks – may be needed next winter.

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