THIS afternoon, the Prime Minister announced measures for the easing of lockdown restrictions in England.

The government’s “route map” is split into four stages, and will see gradual reopening of society as we knew it, alongside continued testing and vaccination roll-out schemes.

Boris Johnson told MPs in the House of Commons that the approach was “cautious but also irreversible”, with the impact of the vaccination programme replacing the need for lockdown measures.

He said a “wretched year would give way to a spring and a summer that will be very different and incomparably better”.

But with many people feeling the ‘cabin fever’ set in, what do the new plans say about travelling outside your immediate local area?

Stage 1

The first stage of the lockdown easing is set to begin next month, starting with the reopening of schools.

On March 29, the government plans to drop the "Stay at Home" message, meaning that it will no longer be a legal requirement to remain at home.

However, it says it will instead encourage people to stay local wherever they can. So while a day trip somewhere slightly further may be possible, staycations will still be off limits.

Stage 2 (No earlier than April 12)

In April, the government hopes to give the green light to self-contained accommodation, such as campsites and holiday lets, where indoor facilities are not shared with other households.

These types of sites will be able to reopen for overnight stays by households only.

Stage 3 (No earlier than May 17)

The following month, hotels, hostels and B&Bs are set to reopen. Allowing for 

Whether this remains household-only is still unclear. It is hoped that up to six people or a larger group from up to two households will be permitted to meet indoors in this stage, but this is subject to review.

Stage 4 (No earlier than June 21) 

All restrictions on social gathering are planned to end after this date - meaning visits to relatives in other parts of England and group holidays would be permissible.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

Whether it's for a change of scene, or to visit family in one of the devolved nations, many will be wondering when they can cross the borders into Scotland or Wales, or the water to Northern Ireland. 

Scotland will return to the geographic levels system after lockdown is lifted, Nicola Sturgeon said.

The First Minister is due to announce a road map out of lockdown on Tuesday in Holyrood, where more information on travel in and out of the country may be given.

Speaking at the coronavirus briefing in Holyrood, Ms Sturgeon said it would give indications of the phasing of the easing of restrictions, but it would not provide dates for reopening.

She said: “We will seek to set out tomorrow an indicative order of priority and the likely phasing of firstly the gradual lifting of the current lockdown restrictions and then in due course, a return to the geographic levels system when we would decide whether all or parts of the country may move out of Level 4 and into Level 3, and of course that’s the part where more parts of the economy will start to open up.

“This will be a cautious way forward because it’s really important that as we come out of this lockdown, we do so sustainably.”

Meanwhile, Wales’ Mark Drakeford has suggested stay-at-home orders could be eased there in around three weeks.

In Northern Ireland, First Minister Arlene Foster has promised a “decision-making framework” on how the executive plans to exit lockdown will be published on March 1.