Great Britain

Non-essential shops ‘may reopen in April and pubs and restaurants in May in ‘three-step plan’ to lifting Covid lockdown’

NON-essential shops could re-open in April followed by pubs and restaurants in May, it was reported.

Boris Johnson yesterday announced there will be a staggered route out of lockdown, beginning with a review at the end of February with schools now only likely to reopen after March 8 at the earliest.

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The PM revealed there will be a review of the lockdown on February 22.

He said schools will be the first to reopen under the new road map, which will take a "gradual" approach to lifting restrictions.

But officials are also working on proposals which could see most shops closed until April, and pubs and restaurants shut until May, the Telegraph reports.

The Government is said to favour a staggered approach with schools opening up again in March with shops and pubs and restaurants in their wake.

When Mr Johnson first announced the new lockdown, he said it would initially last until the middle of February.

By that time the Government aims to vaccinate all the over 70s, NHS staff and the clinically vulnerable who have been shielding for months.

Speaking in the House of Commons this afternoon, the PM confirmed he will review current lockdown measures in mid February, but left the door open for them to be extended.

"I can tell the House that when parliament returns from recess on the week beginning February 22, we intend to set out the results of that review and publish our plan for taking the country out of lockdown," he said.

The plan will depend on "the continued success of the vaccination program," as well as the "capacity of the NHS" and the rate at which people are dying from coronavirus in the UK.

And the road to freedom will take a "gradual and phased approach," with the reopening of schools a priority.

The Government's roadmap for taking the UK out of lockdown is heavily dependent on the pace of of the vaccination programme and the aim is for 30 million people to get the jab by March.

Number 10 has been given a huge boost in its bid to get Britain back on its feet after the chief exec of AstraZeneca - which makes the Oxford jab - said he was confident the UK rollout was picking up pace. 

Pascal Soriot said he believed the country's medics are ready to administer doses to "maybe 28 or 30million people" by March.

His upbeat message came just days after The Sun exclusively revealed Boris had begun top secret plans for millions to meet loved ones this Easter.

PM also revealed he was drawing up a no-nonsense blueprint setting out "when and how we want to get things open again".

One source told the Daily Mail: "It's at an early stage, but we are beginning to look at what the metrics and criteria will be when we are ready to start thinking about unlocking.

"What are the things that we need to get on top of before we can really get going, confident that we won't have to lockdown again?

"Obviously that will include things like vaccination numbers, the rate of transmission and the numbers being treated in hospital."

Boris Johnson in message to parents in Downing Street briefing on return of schools

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