Covid restrictions that may be lifted as PM set to make announcement

The Prime Minister will present draft easing measures in England on Monday 22 February, the final details of which will be agreed at a meeting of the Covid O committee on Sunday.

The prime minister will then chair a meeting of his cabinet on Monday before announcing the plans to the Commons later that afternoon.

He is expected to chair a press conference on Downing Street that evening with UK Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty and Scientific Advisor Sir Patrick Vallance.

The Prime Minister is believed to be examining the latest data on the vaccine’s effectiveness this weekend, as well as the latest numbers on cases, deaths and people hospitalized.

On Wednesday, Mr Johnson said it was “absolutely right” to take a “data not data” approach to ease restrictions when he emphasized the need to be “careful” the Liverpool Echo reports.

Here we take a look at what the Prime Minister’s potential roadmap timeline might look like:

March

The first goal of Mr. Johnson’s roadmap plan is to reopen the schools on March 8th.

There are suggestions that secondary school students can return a week or two after primary school.

The Daily Telegraph reported that parents of secondary school students were being asked to test their children with rapid cross-flow tests twice a week, as per government plans, while the Guardian said masks outside of the class bubbles will be mandatory in secondary schools if social distancing is not an option.

After the schools reopened, ministers apparently considered restarting outdoor sports like golf and tennis.

April

If they don’t reopen by the end of March, non-essential stores may be able to open their doors in early April.

Meanwhile, Wales said it would consider partially reopening the tourism industry in time for Easter if the country’s coronavirus situation continues to improve.

Independent accommodations, including hotels and bed and breakfasts with room service, caravans and lodges, will be considered for reopening after the next restrictions review.

Media reports have suggested various reopening dates for hospitality in England, with the optimistic suggestions varying from Easter weekend to May.

There are also reports that hairdressers and beauty salons won’t open until April and that two households can meet outdoors until Easter (April 4).

Can

The Daily Mail said pubs could open in May, while the Daily Telegraph said cases would have to drop to 1,000 a day before measures could be relaxed.

But Patrick Dardis, Young’s chief executive officer, told the PA news agency that there could be thousands of job losses if pubs doors stay closed through May.

He said: “The opening in May is not ideal, we would prefer April massively, but at least when that is announced we will have clarity to work with.

“When it is May we have to be able to reopen with at least the same rules as we did on July 4th. So we have two households inside and six outside.”

A group of senior Tory MPs has called for weddings to return by May 1st.

The Covid Recovery Group (CRG) of lockdown-skeptical Tory MPs, including influential 1922 Tories Committee chair Sir Graham Brady and former Cabinet Secretary Esther McVey, have called for Covid-safe weddings starting March 8 to be resumed before unrestricted ceremonies are allowed May 1st.

summer

UK airline leaders are calling on the Prime Minister to create a roadmap for the industry’s recovery so they can plan for the summer.

The executives of British Airways, easyJet, Jet2.com, Loganair, Ryanair, Tui and Virgin Atlantic warned the UK was facing a year of limited connectivity with no clear indication of the government’s intention to restart aviation in the coming months the rest of the world and economic recovery will be hampered.

They said when the prime minister makes his lockdown announcement next week, a roadmap for airlines and consumers would be vital to help them plan for the summer and pave the way for the safe reopening of international travel.

The airlines also called for further economic support for UK aviation to encourage and strengthen a recovery.

Tim Alderslade, Managing Director of Airlines UK, said: “The Prime Minister must express his intention for international travel to reopen this summer and provide much-needed assurance that travel will be possible to restore consumer confidence.”

“We don’t expect the travel restrictions to be lifted tomorrow, but it is important that the country have a clear view of the international travel plan when we emerge from the lockdown.

“We are assuming that a timetable will be announced in every other domestic economic sector, from hospitality to retail and leisure – and that must be aviation too.”

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