Britain’s PM announces ‘biggest step’ back to normal
London – People in England will be allowed to hug their loved ones and enjoy indoor hospitality from next Monday, the PM has said whilst urging the public to “exercise caution and common sense”.
Boris Johnson said it was the “single biggest step” in relaxing restrictions – and people should use good judgment.
Indoor mixing and overnight stays in groups of up to six people or two households will also resume.
Leisure venues such as cinemas, museums and children’s play areas will reopen.
Speaking at a Downing Street news conference, Johnson said the further relaxation of England’s lockdown would go ahead on May 17 as the government had met its four tests for easing restrictions.
These tests relied on the success of the vaccine rollout, evidence that the jabs were reducing serious illness and death, infection rates remaining under control and the risks from new COVID variants not changing.
The prime minister said the latest data showed deaths and hospitalisations had dropped to their lowest level since last July.
Zero coronavirus deaths were announced in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland on Monday, while Wales recorded four deaths.
More than two-thirds of adults across the UK have now received a coronavirus vaccine, with almost 18 million people having had their second dose.
The UK’s four chief medical officers said earlier that the UK’s Covid alert level should be lowered from level four to three.
It means that although coronavirus is in general circulation, transmission is no longer high or rising exponentially, so restrictions can be gradually reduced. (BBC)