Schools in England open on March 8; and from March 29, six people or members of two households will be able to communicate outside. From April 12, they will open shops, hairdressers, gyms and outdoor restaurants. Most restrictions on social contacts will be lifted on May 17. The fourth stage of relief – from June 21, will mark the removal of all restrictions on communication.
This was announced by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Parliament. The phased plan aims to remove the measures “slowly but irreversibly”. It only applies to England – Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are decided by their regional authorities.
Johnson is under pressure to allow more freedoms to the millions of people left at home and to offer hope to closed companies.
The so-called roadmap will go through four stages with five weeks between them.
“There is no safe path to Britain or a world without COVID. We cannot go on indefinitely with constraints that weaken our economy, our physical and mental well-being and the life chances of our children,” Johnson told parliament.
With almost 130,000 deaths, Britain has the fifth highest official death toll in the world from the pandemic, and its economy has suffered its biggest collapse in more than 300 years. She imposed one of the strictest closures and began vaccinating extremely quickly.
Even with encouraging data after more than two months of vaccinations, the British government’s cautious approach underscores how slow the return to normalcy will be. The vaccination campaign in England has significantly reduced the incidence, with a drop of about 70% in infections among healthcare workers who received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine https://news.google.com/ BioNtech. About 17.6 million Britons, more than a quarter of the 67 million population, have already received their first dose.
Johnson said the rapid launch of the vaccine, plus the sharp decline in those infected, now allowed him to take cautious easing of the heavy blockade of England, which began on January 5. As the plan unfolds, lawmakers will have the opportunity to vote on concrete steps.
We are embarking on, I hope, a one-way road to freedom.
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Authorities in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which are responsible for public health, will also ease the restrictions in the coming months.
The reopening of schools is expected to help the economy, freeing parents who had to juggle work and home schooling for their children.
However, any facilitation of communication with other households will initially be limited, and the government wants people to work from home, as long as they can, for a few weeks before deciding whether to lift the restrictions in June.
At the end of March, a small number of people are expected to be able to see each other outdoors, but insignificant shops and open-air restaurants will not open until April 12.
Details are expected later at www.dnevnik.bg.
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