THE country could see all national lockdown restrictions lifted later this month - but the rules on face coverings may not change.

In the next few days we are set to learn whether the fourth and final step of the Government's roadmap will take place.

Read more: These are the Covid lockdown restrictions left to be lifted on June 21

That is entirely dependent on case data for emerging variants, and their impact on the rollout of the vaccination programme.

If this step is taken, then restrictions on all remaining closed businesses - such as nightclubs - will be lifted, and limits on all social contact removed.

But what does the Government say about face coverings and social distancing measures beyond that June 21 date?

The Northern Echo: A man wearing a face covering while at Teesside Airport Picture: SARAH CALDECOTTA man wearing a face covering while at Teesside Airport Picture: SARAH CALDECOTT

Separate review into face coverings

According to the Government's roadmap, the easing of lockdown restrictions is being treated seperately to whether face coverings and distancing remains.

Throughout the pandemic face coverings have been required on public transport, in shops, while moving around in restaurants - and even in the gym.

And although we have gone through a number of lockdowns, both nationally and locally, face coverings have always been an "additional" measure.


But the roadmap states that a "review" of social distancing and other long-term measures will take place days before step four begins.

Use of face coverings may not be lifted on June 21 

It states that the review will then decide on the timings of when further restrictions - such as face coverings - are lifted, meaning they will not necessarily be lifted on June 21.

It means that a further review of face coverings, some days or weeks down the line, would be needed to then decide on an offical end date of such measures.

The Northern Echo approached Downing Street for comment but was instead provided with the following excerpt from the Government's roadmap.

It said: "Finally, before Step 4 begins, the government will complete a review of social distancing and other long-term measures that have been put in place to cut transmission.

"This will inform decisions on the timing and circumstances under which the rules on 1 metre plus, the wearing of face coverings and other measures may be lifted.

"This will also inform guidance on working from home – which should continue wherever possible until this review is complete."

A spokesperson for Number 10 did not add anything further when asked for further clarification on the use of facemasks beyond June 21.