GRASSROOTS sport is in line to return to Somerset next month, as part of the government's plan to relax Covid-19 lockdown restrictions across England.

Prime Minster Boris Johnson will unveil his 'roadmap' to the House of Commons this afternoon, ahead of a news conference at 7pm tonight.

It is understood that, with school pupils to return from Monday, March 8, outdoor after-school sports and activities can restart.

A further easing of restrictions will take place on Monday, March 29, when the school Easter holidays begin - with larger groups allowed to gather in parks and gardens.

The 'rule of six' will return, and outdoor sports facilities such as basketball and tennis courts, and golf courses, are also set to reopen at the end of next month.

March 29 is also to see the return of organised adult and children's sport, including grassroots football.

Football leagues - such as the Southern, Western and Somerset County Leagues - are expected to announce whether they will continue with the 2020/21 season or declare it null and void, in the wake of this government announcement.

It is not yet known when indoor sports facilities will be able to reopen, due to the increased risk of spreading the virus indoors.

Gyms - in addition to outdoor venues including golf courses and tennis courts - have been closed since lockdown was announced on January 4.

Speaking on LBC, vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi confirmed that organised team sports could return but declined to say when gyms could reopen.

"The simple way to look at this is that outdoor is safer and therefore we prioritise versus indoor," he said.

"Outdoor sports - tennis, golf, outdoor organised team sports, grassroots football - will go back on March 29."

Pushed on when gyms and fitness centres could reopen, he added: "At the moment, it's outdoors versus indoors.

"Outdoors is the priority because it's where the transmission rates are much, much, much lower."