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Commission approves Commons roadmap out of lockdown

8 March 2021

A roadmap to return MPs and staff gradually to pre-Covid levels in Parliament has been approved by the House of Commons Commission, following a full discussion at its meeting this morning.

The pace at which people go back to the estate will be determined by low infection rates, the continuing success of the vaccination programme, and the Government’s review into social distancing. The proposals mirror the Prime Minister’s roadmap out of the current lockdown for England. Any changes affecting the operation of Parliament as a whole, such as non-passholder access to the estate or the resumption of commercial tours, for example, will be decided jointly with the House of Lords Commission.

It is hoped proposals on whether virtual proceedings continue and when the House of Commons Chamber returns to normality - which are not matters for the Commission - will be unveiled at a later stage. These will follow the Government’s review on social distancing and discussions between the Leader of the House and the Speaker.



Possible changes

8 March

Step 1

  • Schools reopen, but with face coverings indoors unless 2m social distancing can be maintained [para 92]
  • 1-2-1 outdoor exercising
  • Stay at home message remains
  • Funerals for 30 and weddings for six.

Up to 1 member of staff per MP may return to the estate where there is a wellbeing need and the office meets working safety guidance.

29 March

  • Rule of six or two household outdoors
  • Outdoor sport and leisure
  • Legal stay at home lifted, but travel should be minimised. Working from home is still encouraged if possible.
  • No international travel.

Up to 2 members of staff per MP may return to the estate where it is safe for them to do so.

12 April

Step 2

  • Indoor leisure, including gyms
  • Rule of six or two households outdoors.
  • Outdoor hospitality reopens (not indoors)
  • All retail re-opens
  • Funerals for 30 and weddings for 15.
  • Minimise travel, no international holidays.
  • Mitigations such as workforce testing and continued social distancing guidance

Business related services, to increase hours of operation whilst still minimising wherever possible, the number of staff required on site.

Retail to reopen where it has no risk on continuity of business.

Hairdresser to reopen where it has no risk on continuity of business.

Gym to reopen where it has no risk on continuity of business.

All indoor venues remain as single seats. Option to allow two households to meet on the terrace to be considered.


17 May

Step 3

Indoor entertainment and attractions and hospitality.

  • 30 person limit outdoors
  • Rule of six or two households indoors
  • Weddings and ‘significant life events’ for 30.
  • International travel, subject to review

Any changes agreed are recommended to be implemented from after Whitsun recess.

Re-configure indoor outlets to meet the rule of six or two households mixing.

Full catering services for Passholders reopen.

Access resumes for business related non passholders.

21 June

Step 4 

  • No legal limits on social contact but have guidance on how to reduce transmission
  • Reopen remaining venues.
  • No restrictions on weddings and life events.

Phased return of all passholder groups begins and continues through to September 2021

Hospitality services for passholders resume.



Option to resume commercial tours during the summer recess.



Access for all non-passholders