• Sat. Mar 6th, 2021

Boris Johnson cannot ‘guarantee’ lockdown easing will be irreversible


Feb 22, 2021

But he said the ‘intention’ is not to lock England down again (Picture: London News and Pictures)

The prime minister has said he ‘can’t guarantee’ the easing of coronavirus restrictions will be irreversible.

But Boris Johnson said the ‘intention’ is not to lock England down again.

His comments come as he addressed the nation this evening to outline how the country will gradually start to exit its lockdown.

Answering a question from Sky News, Mr Johnson said: ‘I can’t guarantee that it’s going to be irreversible, but the intention is that it should be irreversible.

‘And that’s why we are taking the steps that we are, and people will say, you know, why don’t you go faster, or why don’t you see if you could bring things, bring some of this unlocking earlier if things are going well, and there are signs that the disease is continuing to retreat… and the answer to that, you just have to listen to what Chris and Patrick were saying earlier on about the need for an interval between the relaxations, the unlocking stages.’

He said ministers and scientists will ‘look at the data’ to ensure the disease won’t cause infections to spike as the country unlocks.

‘We saw that in the end of last year, and in January. We’ve seen how fast it can take off when it gets going,’ Mr Johnson added.

‘But as I say, I certainly hope irreversibly. That’s what we want to do, we don’t want to go back into another lockdown.

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The PM said ministers and scientists will ‘look at the data’ to ensure the country can proceed to the next step of unlocking (Picture: Reuters)

‘We want security – to deliver as much security and certainty as we can to the public and to businesses and everybody, that’s why we think it’s a reasonable timetable.’

The PM said there are four steps to easing England’s lockdown, but there will be five weeks between each stage to assess the impact it is having on infections, hospitalisations and deaths.

Key dates include the first step from March 8, which will see schools reopening and permission for two people to meet up socially as well as for exercise.

From March 29, outdoor gatherings will be allowed either under the reinstated ‘rule of six’, or between two households if the group is larger. Some outdoor sports will be allowed to resume.

The second stage, from April 12, will see pubs and restaurants serving customers outside, hairdressers and beauty salons resuming services and non-essential shops reopening.

Step three includes people being allowed to mix indoors from May 17 – including in pubs and bars – subject to the rule of six, and cinemas, theatres and hotels can reopen.

The final stage, from June 21, could see weddings taking place at full capacity and nightclubs reopening.

This is a breaking story. More to follow.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].

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Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown

Boris Johnson has laid out his plans to lift Covid-19 restrictions in England, following weeks of lockdown which began on January 4.

The Prime Minister confirmed that the route back to normality will depend upon four tests for easing restrictions and will take into account the success of the vaccine rollout.

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