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Boris Johnson is set to confirm plans for the end of lockdown tomorrow, according to reports.
His Covid planning committee will meet tomorrow and lay out a blueprint to allow a major relaxation of the restrictions by Easter, and the five-month “Roadmap to Recovery” could be officially unveiled as soon as Monday, February 22.
The PM is said to be very concerned that the country is losing patience with the endless lockdowns and coronavirus restrictions.
A senior government source said that the decision to allow families to meet from Easter onwards came “as a recognition of how tough these last few weeks and months have been”.
The first step on the road will be a re-opening of schools. The government favours March 8 as the start of a new “term” for schools but teachers’ unions are demanding assurances about safety for their members before they agree to go back into the classroom.
Conservative MP Robert Halfon, chair of the education committee, said: “We have to get all children learning again.
“The damage being done to mental health, education and life chances is something that’s going to carry on every day they are not in school.”
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After that the expectation is that two households – with at group of six people – will be able to meet up outside from Easter under Boris Johnson’s plan to end lockdown.
Gym-goers are also expected to have to wait to April for their exercise fix.
Precise plans for re-opening the hospitality industry are to remain “fluid” for now, with the Cabinet studying the latest data over the coming days, according to the Sun, before guaranteeing a date that pubs and restaurants can re-open.
The danger of infection from very close contact with hairdressers, manicurists and the like means that the beauty industry could remain closed for much longer.
Late April has been suggested as a possible date for hairdressers to open their doors once more, and a restart of more intimate industries such as waxing and manicures may be even further off.
For people enduring an enforced layoff, chancellor Rishi Sunak is said to be extending the furlough scheme indefinitely and the Universal Credit uplift for at least six more months.
- Boris Johnson
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