UK PM Boris Johnson Outlines 4-Step Plan to Lift COVID-19 Lockdown

“We’re setting out on what I hope is a one-way road to freedom,” Johnson told lawmakers in the House of Commons.

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File image of UK PM Boris Johnson. 
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UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday, 22 February, outlined a four-step “gradual and cautious” roadmap to lifting the coronavirus-induced lockdown in the nation.

Johnson said that the plan was to move the UK “cautiously but irreversibly” out of lockdown, according to AP.

“We’re setting out on what I hope is a one-way road to freedom,” Johnson told lawmakers in the House of Commons.

How Will the Lifting of Curbs Proceed?

Students will be allowed to return to school from 8 March, the prime minister said.

According to the plan, the UK government aims to reopen non-essential retail in England from 12 April, meaning that shops and hairdressers will reopen, while some spectators could be allowed back into sports events in the nation from 17 May, Johnson said, according to AFP.

The last leg of the plan entails an end to all legal limits on social contact, meaning that and nightclubs will be able reopen after 15 months, on 21 June.

However, these measures, which apply only to England, could be postponed if infections rise in the country.

Third Lockdown Since March 2020

England has been in the throes of a third coronavirus lockdown since 5 January 2021, when cases spiralled after a new and more transmissible variant of the virus emerged in the country.

In a televised address on 4 January, PM Johnson had announced the decision to return to a complete lockdown.

The country has been one of the worst affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with over 120,000 deaths.

Hope for the future rests largely on the widespread rollout of vaccines, with more than 17.5 million people, already having been administered the first of two doses of vaccine. The aim for the nation is to give every adult a shot of vaccine by 31 July, reports AP.

(With inputs from AP and AFP.)

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