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Wednesday, 6 May 2020

UK Lockdown Will Be Eased On MONDAY: Government Will Drop 'Stay At Home' Message This Weekend When Prime Minister Eases Restrictions

Boris Johnson today made his return to PMQs in the House of Commons after a six week absence. He conceded that the UK's coronavirus death toll is 'appalling'
Boris Johnson today announced he is hoping to begin easing the UK's coronavirus lockdown on Monday as Matt Hancock suggested cafes could reopen if they have outdoor drinking areas. The Prime Minister said some measures will be lifted from the start of next week if the latest scientific evidence shows the spread of the disease is sufficiently under control. The PM will renew social distancing restrictions on Thursday before using an address to the nation on Sunday night to set out his lockdown exit strategy. He is pushing ahead despite today admitting that the UK's death toll, which is closing in on 30,000 and is the worst in Europe, is 'appalling'. Mr Johnson said the Sunday address would prepare people for potential changes on Monday but the specifics remain a secret. 



However, Health Secretary Matt Hancock gave a hint as to what could be expected as he suggested cafes with outdoor seating could be allowed to reopen in certain circumstances. He told Sky News: 'There is strong evidence that outdoors the spread is much, much lower, so there may be workarounds that some businesses, for instance, cafes, especially over the summer, may be able to put into place.' Meanwhile, Public Health England is said to have told councils across the country to prepare this weekend to shift away from the government's current 'stay home' message to a new slogan.

Mr Johnson said the Sunday address would prepare people for potential changes on Monday but the specifics remain a secret. 
However, Health Secretary Matt Hancock gave a hint as to what could be expected as he suggested cafes with outdoor seating could be allowed to reopen while Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said the exit plan will look at how a wide range of firms can be 'adapted' so they can resume business. 
Mr Hancock told Sky News: 'There is strong evidence that outdoors the spread is much, much lower, so there may be workarounds that some businesses, for instance cafes, especially over the summer, may be able to put into place.'
His comments are likely to prompt questions as to whether pubs could also be allowed to reopen over the summer if they have a beer garden as some chains suggested customers could order rounds using their mobile phones. 
Meanwhile, Public Health England is said to have told councils across the country to prepare this weekend to shift away from the government's current 'stay home' message to a new slogan.
Mr Johnson made his lockdown timing announcement as he returned to the House of Commons for the first time since his recovery from coronavirus. 
Today marked the debut clash between Mr Johnson and Sir Keir Starmer as the Labour leader accused the PM of botching the UK's response to the outbreak.  
He said only last week the government had boasted other countries were looking at the 'apparent success' of Downing Street's approach to tackling the virus. 
But with the official death toll now above 30,000, Sir Keir asked Mr Johnson: 'How on Earth did it come to this?' 
Mr Johnson tried to deflect the criticism as he insisted now is not the time for international comparisons due to differences in the way countries compile their statistics. 

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