It looks like the COVID crisis has had an impact on the 2021 development schedule for WordPress, with the usual 4 releases a year described as “not a viable plan for 2021”.
In this post, WordPress’ Executive Director, Josepha Haden Chomphosy talks about the ways of reducing the effort required to have a successful WordPress release that have been looked at over the last few years.
“From my research, the work to automate what we can (and potentially get the project ready for more releases per year) would take 3-4 dedicated developers who are proficient in our backend tools/infrastructure, at least a project manager, 1-2 internal communications people, and probably a year or more of work (if we had all the resources, and they were working at full capacity). This means that 4 major releases is not a viable plan in 2021”
While the planned release date for WordPress 5.7 remains scheduled for March the 9th, all others are to be confirmed.
Whether we’ll see WordPress 5.8 or beyond this year remains to be seen.