UK relaxes lockdown but maintains limited travel

(Bloomberg) – UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed that restaurants, pubs and shops will reopen next week, as England’s lockdown measure is relaxed. However, the foreign travel ban could remain in place for longer.

The earliest date to resume non-essential international travel would be May 17, but officials warned that an additional delay might be necessary if coronavirus infections continue to rise in other parts of the world. A decision will be made closer to the moment, they said.

“We cannot be complacent, we can see the waves of disease afflicting other countries and we have seen this story go,” Johnson told a news conference in London on Monday. “We still don’t know how strong the vaccine shield will be when cases start to increase, and I’m afraid they will.”

In England, falling hospitalization and death rates and the successful launch of the vaccination campaign, which has seen more than 31.5 million people receive at least one dose, means the country is on track to continue to lift gradually the restrictions that have been in place since the beginning of January.

That means that as of April 12, non-essential shops will resume trading, pubs and restaurants will once again serve customers at outdoor tables, personal services such as hairdressers will return, and outdoor attractions, including zoos. , will reopen their doors to visitors.

As the government plans to live with the virus in the long term, the UK is developing a new covid passport system and urging the population to get rapid and free tests for the virus twice a week.

Ministers hope that covid passports will eventually facilitate the resumption of events with live audiences and relax travel restrictions and social distancing rules for thousands of businesses. Some pandemic measures may be needed beyond the end of the government’s current roadmap to ease the lockdown, authorities said.

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On Monday, the prime minister laid out the plans along with interim findings from four policy reviews at a press conference in London.

Original Note: Johnson Eases Lockdown But Foreign Travel on Hold for UK (1)

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