5 April 2021 | NEWS

Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the nation today, setting out the next stage of the roadmap out of lockdown.

Pubs and restaurants will be able to open from a week today; however, they can only serve people outdoors. Customers will be able to purchase alcohol without a substantial meal.

Clothes shops, hairdressers, nail bars and non-essential retail will all reopen the same day, but social distancing rules will still apply.

Anyone who wants a staycation can plan from next week, as campsites and holiday lets are being opened back up.

The Government has moved away from tiered restrictions, and these changes are England-wide, although Local Authorities can reintroduce restrictions if virus cases rapidly increase.

The highlights from the major announcements were:

Pubs, restaurants, gyms, hairdressers and non-essential shops can reopen on Monday 12 April

Free rapid testing available to everyone in England from this Friday

Wedding attendee numbers increase to 15 as funeral attendees stay at 30

Staycations allowed from next week

International holidays still illegal

Cases at 33.5% drop from last Monday

Today’s news has been welcomed by many today including Dr Jackie Mulligan, an expert on the High Streets Task Force and founder of ShopAppy.com, who spoke to Wolves after the press conference:

“I’m pleased that the high street will finally open up, as the restrictions haven’t just hurt local shops and services but also the communities they serve.

“While the easing of restrictions should increase footfall, businesses need to understand that people may still be cautious, so offering online and offline interaction will be crucial.

“The positive sentiment towards localism we have seen over the past year can now be put into action, and I hope consumers vote with their feet for their high street.”

Meanwhile, the Government advisory body SAGE has warned that restrictions being lifted following the roadmap plan will mean another wave hits the UK in the summer, with the numbers worse than in previous peaks.

The controversy around ‘Covid passports’ reached a new height today, when the PM said the hospitality sector will not use them, while Government papers suggest they may come in later on in the roadmap.

Labour are focusing on the Covid passports in their messaging this evening, saying they are not sure whether Parliament will be asked to vote on the measure.

Official Government data shows that positive cases today are at 2,762 (a 33.5% drop in 7 days), with 26 deaths today (a 44% drop in 7 days).

Hugo is a political commentator and aspiring MP. His interests include homelessness, democracy and influencing policy. He is also the CEO of a charity responding to homelessness.

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