Covid-19: PM 'optimistic' restrictions can end by 21 June

People Are Calling On The Government To Make 21 June A Bank Holiday

But those longing for a haircut, a restaurant meal or a pint in a pub have nearly two months to wait, and people won't be able to hug loved ones that they don't live with until May at the earliest.

The announcement came as Johnson on Monday set out a phased plan on Monday to end England's lockdown, offering a "cautious" approach to try to prevent a return to wholesale restrictions that have hobbled the economy.

When will we be able to travel?

But it's a slow road, not a highway.

Addressing the House of Commons and later a Downing Street press conference on Monday, he had stressed that the decision at each stage of lifting lockdown restrictions will be based on data not dates as part of a focus on keeping coronavirus infection rates under control. Faced with dominant virus variant that scientists say is both more transmissible and more deadly than the original virus, the country has spent much of the winter under a tight lockdown, the third since March 2020.

Foreign travel will be reviewed on May 17 at the earliest.

From March 8, schools and colleges will reopen while non-essential shops, hairdressers, gyms and outdoor hospitality could reopen from April.

When will we be able to meet indoors again?

So will pubs and restaurants, though only outdoors.

Step three will begin no earlier than 17 May and will allow groups of up to 30 to meet outdoors, cinemas to reopen and organised indoor sport to recommence.

The government hopes that on 21 June it will be able to remove all legal limits on social contact.

Credit PA
People Are Calling On The Government To Make 21 June A Bank Holiday

The measures being announced apply to England. Authorities in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which are responsible for their own public health, will also ease restrictions over the coming months. As of Monday morning, the United Kingdom has given first doses to 17.5 million people, while the speed at which it can vaccinate is increasing.

All adults in the country are due to be offered a vaccine shot by the end of July, and everyone aged over 50 by mid-April.

Johnson said vaccines would help Britain put "a wretched year" behind it.

But the prime minister said he is "very optimistic" that he can stick to his plan that he hopes will see nearly all of society reopened and a removal of all social restrictions.

The Conservative government - in normal times an opponent of lavish public spending - spent 280 billion pounds ($393 billion) in 2020 to deal with the pandemic, including billions paying the salaries of nearly 10 million furloughed workers.

Johnson said the government's annual budget statement on March 3 would contain new measures "to protect jobs and livelihoods across the U.K". But no vaccine will ever be 100% effective and like any virus, covid-19 will mutate. The data showed that four weeks after having the shot, the risk of being admitted to hospitals had been reduced by up to 85% and 94% respectively, according to United Kingdom news agency PA Media.

The government will carry out a review into the idea of Covid status certificates or vaccine passports.

"There is therefore no credible route to a zero-covid world".

But the prime minister said there was time to consider the issue at the same time as the vaccine rollout continued.

"I can't guarantee that it is going to be irreversible, but the intention is that it should be" he said.

Ontario reports 9 new COVID-19 deaths, daily cases just above 1,000
There are eight known cases of that strain in Ottawa, and one known case of the B.1.351 (South Africa) strain. Ontario is back under 1,000 daily new cases with 975 confirmed this morning and 1,002 resolved cases.

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