• Mon. Mar 8th, 2021

Thousands sign petition to make June 21 a bank holiday


Feb 23, 2021

People gathered in Soho on ‘super Saturday’, when lockdown restrictions were eased in July last year (Picture: Reuters)

A petition has been launched to make June 21 a bank holiday, after Boris Johnson pencilled it in as the day ‘all legal limits on social contact’ could end.

As he outlined his ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown on Monday, the Prime Minister said the midsummer date was the earliest Brits could be free from social distancing and even return to nightclubs and other crowded venues. 

Now thousands of people are calling for it to be made a public holiday, even though the Government is warning that the date is not guaranteed. 

Earlier this afternoon, more than 10,000 had backed the campaign, which is rapidly growing in popularity, and reads: ‘We’d like the government to create a one off Bank Holiday, to be known as Merriweather Day, on Monday June 21st 2021 as an opportunity for families and friends to come together.’

This morning Boris Johnson said he could not guarantee that all lockdown measures would be lifted by that third Monday in June, but declared himself ‘optimistic’ about the timeline. 

If a petition reaches 100,000 signatures, it will be debated in Parliament. 

‘Four tests’ for easing restrictions must be met before the measures are eased, and there is hope among experts that the cautious easing of the current rules will help the UK avoid another surge in infections. 

Revellers drank and socialised in the street on July 4 after the UK’s first lockdown was relaxed (Picture: EPA)

The rapid vaccine rollout is another cause for hope for many, but scientists are urging caution. 

Downing Street reiterated that June 21 was the ‘earliest’ date for step four – when all coronavirus measures could be eased – after calls for the bank holiday were widely shared on social media.

When asked if this was something Boris Johnson would consider, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: ‘As it says, June 21 is the earliest for step four.

‘And as the road map sets out we need to continue to look at the evidence and data as we move through the road map.’

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