Boris Johnson: Britain can look forward to ‘brighter days ahead’
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The Prime Minister is expected to update the British public on rules surrounding lockdown, social distancing, holidays and vaccine passports. Speaking on Monday, Mr Johnson will outline whether England can move onto the next phase of the roadmap out of lockdown.
The UK Government has already dropped the strict “stay at home” message and allowed groups of six or two households to meet outdoors from March 29.
Beer gardens, gyms and non-essential retail are pencilled-in to re-open on April 12.
Upon announcing the roadmap at the end of February, Mr Johnson insisted there would be an interval to assess the coronavirus data and would give firms at least a week to prepare.
Rules surrounding social distancing are set to be assessed, with coronavirus infections falling and more than 36 million vaccine doses administered.
Guidelines on social distancing within the workplace are also set be made clearer as millions head back to their jobs in just over a weeks’ time.
Britons are currently banned from travelling abroad, unless the trip is approved for a select few reasons.
Ministers have made it clear the ban will remain in place until at least May 17.
Mr Johnson is poised to renew hopes for a summer getaway and confirm plans for a traffic light system.
Foreign destinations will be ranked either green, amber or red.
Countries will be put into categories based on several factors, including the number of vaccinations completed in the nation, the rate of COVID-19 infections and the threat of new variants.
Passengers arriving from countries rated “green” will not be required to isolate – but pre-departure and post-arrival tests will still be needed.
Countries deemed “amber” are expected to see passengers isolate for 10 days, cut to five if a negative COVID-19 result is approved.
Existing quarantine measures in hotels are set remain in place for “red” rated destinations.
The Prime Minister has said the Government is doing “everything we can” to enable the return of events – with vaccine passports seen a key to enabling large gatherings.
He is expected to give more details on proposals to develop a “Covid status certification” scheme.
Health officials are said to be working on ways for people to prove they have been given a jab through their smartphone or paper documents.
Ministers believe the scheme will be most useful in managing the risks where there are large numbers of people in close proximity, such as music festivals, sporting matches and nightclubs.
But, the need for a domestic vaccine passport is set to be limited, amid a growing Tory rebellion in the Commons.
Settings such as public transport, retail, pubs and restaurants are set to be exempt at this stage.
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The first trial of large gatherings are due to take place on April 16 at the Hot Water Comedy Club in Liverpool, and two days later by the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.
Writing in The Mail On Sunday, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “We will examine the risks closely, plan to keep people safe, mitigate the dangers and, in doing, so we will be able to have spectators returning in full to events once more.
“Each successful pilot is a huge step forward towards the life we all miss sorely, every day.
Mr Johnson said: “We have made huge strides over the past few months with our vaccine programme and everyone in the country has made huge sacrifices to get us to this stage in our recovery from COVID-19.
“We are doing everything we can to enable the reopening of our country so people can return to the events, travel and other things they love as safely as possible, and these reviews will play an important role in allowing this to happen.”
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