Fylde MP Mark Menzies has welcomed the clarity from the roadmap out of lockdown after Prime Minister Boris Johnson detailed a four-stage relaxation of rules - so long as the number of Covid cases continues to fall.
Mr Menzies said: "The path out of lockdown presented by the Prime Minister is a sensible, structured and steady way forward for the entire country.
"It gives people and businesses dates to work towards as we gradually get back to normal, and is clearly designed to minimise the spread of Covid-19 and for us to not go back into lockdown.
"To ensure that happens, we must continue our tremendous vaccination programme, and it is absolutely vital that everyone adheres to the rules over the next few months.
"We have a way out of these lockdowns and we can get there together."
Mr Menzies spoke to the Prime Minister following his statement in the House of Commons. He said: "I would like to welcome the Prime Minister's statement today and to acknowledge the tremendous leadership he has shown in driving forward the vaccine programme.
"As my right honourable friend is aware the tourism and hospitality sector are vital to the Fylde economy and they are ready and willing to trade their way to recovery.
"Can he assure me he will keep this sector at the front of his thoughts both ahead of next week's budget and when implementing his roadmap?"
The Prime Minister told him: "The tourism sector is absolutely vital for our country and the faster we can get it open the better. The best way to open it up – the fastest – is to have a roadmap from which we do not deviate and from which we are not forced to go backwards and that is what we are setting out to do. I’m glad we have his support."
The four stages will only take place if four conditions are met: Covid vaccines continue being deployed, the vaccines remain effective, infection rates do not surge, and assessment of risk is not changed by new variants. There will be four weeks between stages, allowing for data to be collated and analysed, with a further week to prepare for changes. All these dates are considered to be 'at the earliest' if all of the conditions are met:
Pupils and students will return to school on March 8, with outdoor socialising allowed for adults to meet for a drink on a one-to-one basis.
On March 29, up to six people, or two households, can meet in private gardens or in public spaces. While the 'stay at home' guidance will remain in place, the legal order to do so will end.
No earlier than April 12, non-essential retail shops can open along with hairdressers and personal beauty businesses, libraries, museums, leisure centres and gyms. Pubs and restaurants can serve outdoors.
No earlier than May 17, groups of six or two households will be allowed to meet indoors, pubs and restaurants can open inside seating areas with the rule of six, and outdoor meetings can involve up to 30 people. Sport venues can reopen.
No earlier than June 21, legal limits on mixing could be gone and large events allowed to be held once again.