Friday, February 26, 2021

Johnson lays out four-step ‘unlock’ roadmap for England

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The UK is at the moment of maximum risk says PM Boris JohnsonLondon, Feb 22 (IANS) UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday unveiled his four-stage roadmap that will “cautiously but irreversibly” ease restrictions in England by June end, even though he stressed that the threat of Covid-19 is still “substantial”.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Island will frame their own timelines.

Addressing the House of Commons, Johnson said that they cannot have a “zero-Covid” world as no vaccine can ever be 100 per cent effective, the BBC reported.

“We cannot escape the fact” that lifting the lockdown will result in more cases and ultimately more deaths, he warned.

The PM said he hoped the lockdown will be done with around June 21 but stressed the decision to lift restrictions will be “driven by data and not dates”.

Listing on the steps, which will have at least a five week gap between them, Johnson said that the first step, set to be implemented in two parts next month, will see all students returning to schools and colleges on March 8, and resumption of school clubs.

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People will be allowed to meet one other person outside for recreation, not just exercise, and care home residents will be allowed one regular named visitor

The stay at home order will however remain in place.

From March 29, outdoor gatherings of up to six people or two households allowed, including in private gardens, outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts and outdoor swimming pools can reopen and organised outdoor sports can resume.

Stay at home order will be no longer in place but people will be urged to stay local, and work from home wherever possible.

There will be no overseas travel.

From April 12, non-essential retail, hairdressers, libraries and museums open, as well as outdoor serving in pubs and restaurants for households or six people.

Zoos, theme parks, self-catering holiday accommodation and camp sites will open, and so will gyms and indoor swimming pools.

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Weddings can see upto 15 people and funerals up to 30 people

From May 17, most social contact rules for outdoors will be lifted, up to limit of 30 people, while mixing indoors will be allowed for two households.

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Cinemas, hotels, indoor exercise classes, among others, will also open.

Performances and sporting events will resume – larger performances with venues 1,000+ or half full will be allowed indoors and outdoors 4,000 capacity or half full (whichever lowest)

In very largest outdoor seated venues such as football stadiums up to 10,000 people allowed to attend, or 1/4 full whichever is lowest.

Up to 30 people can attend weddings, receptions, funerals, wakes.

In step four, not before June 21, all legal limits on social contact will go with an aim to reopen final closed sectors such as nightclubs, restrictions on large events and performances as well as on weddings and other “life events” will hopefully be removed, he said.

Source: IANS

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