England to begin ease on lockdown Monday next week

Boris Johnson
Britain's Prime Minister

England will on Monday next week allow pubs and restaurants serving outside to reopen for business along with non-essential shops, gyms and hairdressers, as lockdown is further eased in the country.

But, Boris Johnson, who stated this, urged caution, saying: “We can’t be complacent.”

He told a Downing Street briefing that officials were examining the potential role of COVID-19 status certificates.

Pilot events will take place from mid-April to trial the system, with later events checking vaccinations.

Speaking alongside the government’s chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance and England’s chief medical officer, Prof. Chris Whitty, the prime minister also said the government was “hopeful” international travel could resume in the next stage of lockdown easing on May 17.

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He, however, cautioned against the effects of the surge of coronavirus in other parts of the world.

He said the government would set out “well before May 17 what is reasonable” and aim to give the aviation industry “as much notice as possible”.

It comes as the government published an update on a series of reviews into COVID-19 certificates, the safe return of mass events, international travel and social distancing rules.

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In the document, the government said it cannot yet confirm international travel can resume on May 17, “given the state of the pandemic abroad”, and advises people not to book summer holidays abroad “until the picture is clearer”.

It also said further details on a risk-based “traffic light” system for foreign travel will be published in a report later this week.

On COVID-19 status certification, the paper said such a scheme “is likely to become a feature of our lives until the threat from the pandemic recedes”.

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Johnson said the government needs to work out what its proposal might be on vaccine passports before bringing it to Parliament.

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He stressed the government was “some way off” finalising any plans on COVID-19 certification, and that it would not be required for when people “go to the shops or to the pub garden or to the hairdressers or whatever” from 12 April.


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