Shops, hairdressers, gyms and outdoor hospitality could reopen on 12 April in England under plans set out by the PM.
From 17 May, two households might be allowed to mix in homes, while the rule of six could apply in places like pubs.
It requires four tests on vaccines, infection rates and new coronavirus variants to be met at each stage.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson told MPs the plan aimed to be “cautious but irreversible” and at every stage decisions would be led by “data not dates”.
There was “no credible route to a zero-Covid Britain nor indeed a zero-Covid world”, he said.
Mr Johnson later told a Downing Street news conference the coming spring and summer would be “seasons of hope, looking and feeling incomparably better for us all”.
He described the plan as a “one-way road to freedom” but said he could not guarantee it would be irreversible “but the intention is that it should be”.
It comes as the first data on the UK’s coronavirus vaccine rollout suggested it was having a “spectacular” impact on stopping serious illness.
But wider social contact rules will continue to apply in all settings – meaning no indoor mixing between different households will be allowed.
Mr Johnson confirmed the end of hospitality curfews – and requirements to eat a substantial meal alongside alcohol.
He said a review of international leisure travel restrictions would be announced by 12 April at the earliest. (Courtesy BBC)