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Lockdown: Boris Johnson unveils plan to end England restrictions by 21 June

  • Lockdown: Boris Johnson unveils plan to end England restrictions by 21 June
    There was "no credible route to a zero-Covid Britain nor indeed a zero-Covid world," he said. Lockdown: Boris Johnson unveils plan to end England restrictions by 21 June
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A new four-step plan to ease England's lockdown could see all legal limits on social contact lifted by 21 June, if strict conditions are met.

 

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 "captious 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".

His keenly awaited roadmap, which begins with all pupils returning to schools in England on 8 March, is slower than many Tory colleagues had hoped, with the “stay at home” order remaining in place until 29 March at the earliest, and Easter breaks banned. All changes are contingent on four tests being met, Johnson said.

• Aside from schools reopening – with secondary school pupils expected to wear masks – the only change on 8 March will be that two people from different households are allowed to meet outside socially. From 29 March, the “stay at home” order will lift so that people can meet family members in a park or garden, and outdoor sports facilities can reopen.

• In step two, from 12 April, hairdressers and non-essential shops can reopen, as well as self-catering accommodation, libraries, museums and outdoor hospitality such as pub gardens.

• From 17 May, in step three, most rules on outdoor social contact will be lifted, with gatherings limited to 30 people. Pubs and restaurants will be able to serve customers indoors. Sports venues can admit up to 10,000 fans or a quarter of capacity, whichever is lower, and music acts can perform to an audience of up to 1,000 people, or half a venue’s capacity.

• In step four, from 21 June, all limits on socialising should be lifted and the final entertainment sectors should be able to reopen.