Prime Minister says hairdressers, gyms, shops and beer gardens will be allowed to reopen in a week on April 12
Prime Minister Boris Johnson says hairdressers, gyms, shops and beer gardens will be allowed to reopen in a week on Monday, April 12.
In a briefing today on Easter Monday (April 6), Mr Johnson said the move was "fully justified by the data" having previously laid out four tests for each stage of his roadmap out of lockdown.
He said it was "really clear now your patience is paying off".
Mr Johnson said: "The net result of your efforts and the vaccine programme is that I can confirm that from a week today, Monday, April 12, we will move to step two of our roadmap - reopening shops, gyms, zoos, holiday campsites, personal care services like hairdressers and of course beer gardens and outdoor hospitality. On Monday 12th I will be going to the pub myself and cautiously but inreversibly raising a pint of beer to my lips."
The number of care home visitors will also be raised from one to two.
Mr Johnson said many had spent the Easter weekend seeing family, saying: "Millions of people have been able to see loved ones for the first time in months."
Chief medical officer for England Chris Whitty said the number of hospitalisations continued to steadily fall and the number of people dying had been steadily decreasing.
It comes as 2,762 cases were announced across England and a further 26 deaths.
Mr Whitty said the average number of deaths was now 47 a day, compared to a peak of 1,300 earlier in the year.
Each step on England's roadmap is linked to:
1. The speed of the vaccine roll-out.
2. Vaccines successfully bringing down hospitalisations.
3. Cases low enough to prevent the NHS being overwhelmed.
4. New variants not posing a threat to the effectiveness of vaccines.
The next stage of the easing is due to be on May 17 when the major change will be allowing people to meet indoors.
Mr Johnson said there was "no question of people being asked to provide covid certification status" when businesses reopen next week.
"We're not planning that for step 3 either on May 17 when we hope to go for the opening of indoor hospitality either at that stage."
He said the idea that "vaccination status would be useful for international travel" was being looked at by all countries and "I do think that's going to be part of the way we deal with that and we need to think about that."
Mr Johnson said: "We see nothing in the present data that makes us think we will have to deviate from that roadmap but it's by being cautious, by monitoring the data every stage and following the rules that we hope together to make this roadmap to freedom inreversible."
But he added a word of caution and urged people to get their second dose of the vaccine. He said: "We can't be complacent. We can see seen the waves of sickness afflicting other countries and we've seen how this story goes."