Feb 23, 2021 09:53 UTC
  • Boris Johnson pledges end to social contact restrictions by ‘end of June’

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has finally set out his long-awaited “blueprint” for exiting coronavirus-related restrictions by boldly claiming England is going to start “reclaiming our freedoms”.

Addressing the House of Commons on Monday (February 22), the PM set out a four-step plan to ease England’s third lockdown which could see all “legal limits” on social contacts removed by June 21.

The elaborate plan requires four tests on vaccines, infection rates and new Covid-19 variants to be met at each stage.

To that end, the PM told MPs the plan aims to be “cautious and irreversible” while at each stage decisions would be guided by “data not dates”.

The plan envisages the opening schools from March 08, while from March 29 onwards outdoor gatherings of either six people or two households will be allowed.

The second step from April 12 will involve re-opening major parts of the economy, including non-essential retail, hairdressers, nail salons and gyms.

Meanwhile, the third step, set to start on May 17, will roll back most major restrictions on outdoor gatherings, replacing it with a limit of 10,000 people at performances and sporting events.

Pubs, restaurants, cinemas and hotels will also re-open at this stage.

Finally, the fourth step from June 21 will involve lifting all legal limits on social contacts initially introduced during the first nation-wide lockdown in March 2020.

Despite his optimism and evident combative mood, the PM was careful enough to warn Parliament that there was “no credible route to a zero-Covid Britain nor indeed a zero-Covid world”.

But ultimately in defense of his “blueprint” Johnson asserted that restrictions which “debilitate our economy, our physical and mental wellbeing and the life chance of our children” cannot remain in place “indefinitely”.

MG

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