Prime Minister Boris Johnson has set out his 'roadmap' for lifting the national lockdown.

Mr Johnson said that as the level of infection was broadly similar across England, the Government will ease restrictions at the same time.

From March 8 pupils and students in all schools and further education settings can safely return to face to face teaching, supported by twice weekly testing for secondary schools and college pupils.

Breakfast and afterschool clubs can also restart to support working parents, as other children's activities as well as sports can restart to help parents work.

University students on practical courses can return, but all others must continue working remotely. This will be reviewed by the end of the Easter holidays.

From March 8 people will also be able to meet one person outside their household for outdoor recreation for a picnic or coffee on a bench, in addition to exercise.

Those who are clinically vulnerable are advised to stay shielding until the end of March.

Every care home resident will be able to nominate a named visitor who can see them regularly subject to testing and wearing PPE.

Amendments will be made to allow a broader range of Covid-secure activities around the elections on May 6.

From March 29, when school Easter holidays begin, the Rule of Six will return for people to meet outdoors, including in private gardens, as well as two households for outdoor meetings, so families in different circumstances can meet.

Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis courts and open-air swimming pools can reopen, and formally organised sports activities subject to guidance.

From March 29 people will no longer be legally required to stay at home but people should continue to work from home and minimise travel.

Step two will begin no earlier than April 12, with an announcement at least seven days in advance.

Non essential retail will reopen, as well as personal care such as hairdressers and hair salons.

Indoor leisure facilities such as gyms will reopen and also holiday lets for individuals and household groups.

Pubs and restaurants can reopen outdoors, and there will be no curfew or requirement for alcohol to be accompanied by food.

Zoos, public libraries and community centres will also reopen.

Step three will begin no earlier than May 17. Most restrictions on meeting outdoors will be lifted, subject to a maximum of 30 people. This will also be when people can see their families indoors, under the Rule of Six or two households.

This will also pubs and restaurants opening indoors, as well as children's play areas, cinemas, hotels, B&Bs, theatres and concert halls.

Sports stadiums will reopen subject to capacity limits.

Step four will begin no earlier than June 21 with the aim to remove all legal limits on social contact and events such as weddings.

Also to reopen everything up to and including nightclubs and theatre performances above the limits of step three, potentially using testing to reduce the risk of infection.

Four reviews will be carried out. One will look at social distancing and face masks, and inform guidance on working from home.

The second will look at the resumption for international travel. A report by April 12 will be published so people can plan for the summer.

The third review will look at the potential role of Covid Status Certification to help venues to open safely.

And the fourth review will look at the return of major events.

Free test kits for workplaces will be given out until the end of June and small businesses, families and the self-employed will be able to collect testing kits from local testing sites.

He warned that the government cannot rule out re-imposing restrictions at local or regional level if evidence shows it is necessary to suppress a variant that escapes the vaccine.

Mr Johnson said there will be those that believe "we can go faster" and he sympathises with the exhaustion people are feeling and the businesses after so long in lockdown.

"To them I say the end really is in sight and a wretched year will give way to a spring and summer very different and incomparably better," he said.

And he added: "We will not pull the rug out. For the duration of the pandemic the government will do whatever it takes to protect jobs and livelihoods." Further details will be set out in the Budget next Wednesday.