Coronavirus UK: Market stalls and garden parties ‘reopen next month’

Garden parties, market stalls and car dealerships could be opened next month as part of the second wave of activities to reopen as lockdown eases.

Boris Johnson is planning to ease restrictions on outdoor activities, with National Trust parks set to reopen their services to the public as long as indoor attractions remain shut, according to reports.

Guidance is set to be issued revealing which non-essential shops and attractions can open their doors to the public again from June 1. It is understood the PM has his attention focused on salvaging the summer months and is keen to welcome back open-air events, as the transmission rate of the virus is lower outdoors.

The PM will set out the next phase of lifting measures when he addresses the public during a Downing Street press briefing on Thursday, following a meeting with Cabinet ministers on Monday.

A senior Government source is quoted in The Sun as saying: ‘It is clear from the scientific evidence that the rate of infection is much less likely outdoors. The combination of fresh air and sunshine are bad for the virus but they make it safer for everyone.

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‘So we are looking at opening up the outdoors. But all done in slow steps.

‘Social distancing must continue and if there’s the slightest hint of the infection rate rising again, or people hanging around in large groups, the PM will call a halt.’

The source insisted the public ‘will need to adjust to a new normal’ and that ‘we must stay alert to the dangers’ of a second wave of the virus.

However, the government’s scientific advisers said on Friday that the R rate is currently between 0.7 and 1 across the UK, suggesting the country is not yet ready to have further restrictions lifted.

Officials are aiming to decrease the R rate – on average the amount of people an infected person will pass the virus on to – as quickly as possible so they can give the green light to more businesses to reopen and save the economy.

The current UK restrictions are said to be costing £2,500,000,000 a day.

Mr Johnson said last week he wants the UK back to ‘near-normality’ as early as July, but it will depend on the R rate successfully being lowered.

Over the bank holiday weekend Brits have been soaking up the sun enjoying pints in parks and on beaches as some businesses offered takeaway drinks.

All bars, clubs and restaurants were ordered on March 20 to close for the foreseeable future as the government tried to contain the spread of coronavirus.

But as the weather is getting hotter and emergency measures are gradually eased, pubs have been serving drinks on the go for people to enjoy al fresco.

But tourist bodies and emergency services urged Brits to stay away from beauty spots during the bank holiday weekend, despite the slight easing of lockdown.

Dorset Council and the Visit Peak District and Derbyshire tourist board issued a plea telling people to ‘think’ before travelling, to act responsibly and protect the local community amid fears the beauty spots would be ‘overwhelmed’.

It comes after officials also suggested UK holidays could be on the cards in July.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said the Government has set out a ‘very ambitious plan’ to revive the country’s hard-hit tourism industry by the beginning of July.

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