ALL eyes will be on Boris Johnson today (Monday, February 22) as he sets out the gradual path from our third coronavirus lockdown.
The Prime Minister will tell Brits about the loosening of restrictions that have controlled our lives since January 5. This is what time you can expect the PM’s announcement.
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Boris Johnson will be telling England about the easing of Covid measuresCredit: PA:Press Association
What time is Boris Johnson announcing his lockdown roadmap?
Mr Johnson will first speak to MPs in the House of Commons shortly after 3pm this afternoon to explain his roadmap out of the coronavirus lockdown.
The PM is expected to lay out a four-step plan to lead Britain back to normal life.
Boris Johnson will then address the nation at 7pm during a Downing Street press conference..
Mr Johnson has repeatedly stressed that lockdown will be eased cautiously, and he will be guided by “data not dates”.
This was the busy scene in Victoria Park in east London, as locked-down Brits enjoyed warmer weather on February 20Credit: London News Pictures
What is he expected to announce?
The PM has drawn up a four-step plan to lead Britain out of Covid lockdown — and he insists the whole country will be adjusting together.
Civil servants have been busy over the weekend, working on his major presentation in the Cabinet Office.
He has ditched the hated regional tiers and will on Monday unveil a “stairway” back to a normal life.
The success of the jabs programme — and predictions that all over-18s will be offered one by July’s end — has given the PM confidence to unlock slightly faster than first expected.
So, the PM will reveal dates to pencil in diaries for the return of much-missed activities before all restrictions are lifted in a final leap.
In a boost for millions, the PM will say that outdoor sport will resume from the end of March.
Team games including football, rugby and hockey will be allowed.
The steps to normal…
Schools will reopen from March 8, although the government may opt for a staggered return following a backlash from teaching unions.
Brits will also be able to socialise outside with a friend or relative from another household, with current regulations limiting meet-ups to exercise only.
This will be followed by an end to restrictions on close family interaction, meaning children will be able to hug their grandparents again.
Care home residents will also be able to hold hands with visitors within a few weeks, with full guidance set to be issued in the next fortnight.
Later in April, non-essential retail is expected to open should the infection rate continue to remain stable.
However, the hospitality industry is not set to reopen fully until May – though pubs could be allowed to serve pints outside before this date.
Covid vaccinations are helping Britain to free itself from the shackles of coronaCredit: AFP or licensors
Brits should be able to enjoy drinks alfresco outside from April if cases continue to fall at the current rate.
The “rule of six” limits and two-metre social distancing rules are also likely to stay throughout summer.
Health secretary Matt Hancock told Sky News that the PM’s “roadmap” was still being worked on and has yet to be signed off.
However, outdoor sports for kids and small numbers of adults should be allowed immediately, according to Prof Mark Woolhouse of Edinburgh University.
He told the Observer that the latest data showed there was no need for the government to be “ultra-cautious”.
“The government has said the country’s exit from lockdown should be data-driven. Well, the data is extremely good, far better than anyone, including me, anticipated two or three weeks ago.
“Hospitalisations, deaths, and case numbers have all plunged while vaccinations have already reached a quarter of the adult population,” he added.
In a boost for sport, the PM will raise hopes of fans being back into grounds in time for the delayed Euro 2020 tournament, now starting in June.
A Whitehall source told The Sun: “There will be four steps, possibly five, each with dates and details about what businesses can reopen and which activities will be allowed.”
The Sun’s Jabs Army jumps for joy at Castle Quarter Mall in NorwichCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
How can I watch Boris Johnson’s announcement?
It’ll also be shown on TV news channels including Sky News and BBC News.