Coronavirus (COVID-19): Strategic Framework update - February 2021

Sets out how we plan to restore, in a phased way, greater normality to our everyday lives.

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This updated Strategic Framework sets out how we plan to restore, in a phased way, greater normality to our everyday lives.

It updates the original Strategic Framework to take account of important developments, including:

  • new and highly infectious strains of the virus
  • progress with the vaccination roll-out

Our strategic intent remains to: suppress the virus to the lowest possible level and keep it there, while we strive to return to a more normal life for as many people as possible.

The Framework explains how we will use all of the tools we have available to get coronavirus to the lowest possible level and keep it there.

These tools are:

We describe what we are doing to use each of these tools as effectively as possible in the corresponding document sections.

How we will decide what relaxations to make

This document does not provide fixed dates, because there are too many uncertainties.  Instead, we set out the conditions that need to be met to start lifting restrictions in a safe way.

We detail the broad order of priority for re-opening, with our main priority continuing to be education.  We will gradually ease restrictions on other areas of life as we suppress the virus.

We will make decisions based on the most up-to-date science and data, and not be led by dates.  If we open up too quickly, we risk setting our progress back, so any relaxation of restrictions must be cautious and gradual.

Protection levels system

Once the current lockdown restrictions have been gradually eased, we will return to a system of protection levels that can be applied locally or nationally to help manage the virus going forward.

We will make some changes to this system to make sure it's as effective as possible against new strains of the virus.  We explain this in more detail in the section: protective measures and levels system

Reducing the harm from coronavirus

COVID-19 has had a huge impact on every part of society and all of our lives.

In the section: providing care and support, we set out some of the actions we are taking to reduce the harm from the virus, and support people, communities and businesses as part of our road to recovery.

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