Lockdown restrictions ‘to be eased allowing more social contact and non-essential shops to open’

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Boris Johnson is reportedly set to reveal more details on allowing increased social contact and permitting non-essential shops to reopen as the Government readies to further ease the coronavirus lockdown.

At the Downing Street press briefing on Sunday, the Prime Minister said he would reveal the next steps of relaxing the rules in the coming days.

As the country moves to Phase 2, the Government’s plan out of lockdown offers the possibility of “bubbles” of social contacts.

According to The Telegraph, Mr Johnson is expected to update ministers on plans to ease lockdown on Monday during a Cabinet meeting.

The newspaper understands that any altered measures will be put in place next week.

The Government’s 50-page roadmap for exiting lockdown sets out that Phase 2 involves allowing “those who are isolated some more social contact” and opening non-essential shops to the public.

Phase 2 also includes “a phased return for early years settings and schools”, which Mr Johnson has confirmed will begin on June 1.

The Government plans for primary schools to gradually reopen from the beginning of next month, with secondary schools to provide ‘some contact’ from June 15  (PA)

The Prime Minister is reportedly set to also reopen market stalls, car dealerships and allow garden parties as part of the next relaxation of existing measures.

Britain’s long road back to normality could also see National Trust parks and open-air businesses and events return from next month, the Sun newspaper reported.

The reports came after Mr Johnson confirmed on Sunday the Government would set out an assessment of progress against the five tests it had set for adjusting the lockdown in the coming days.

All you need to know from the May 24 Covid-19 briefing

“I do believe we will be in a position to move to step 2 of our plan,” he told the Downing Street press briefing.

“We are making good progress,” he added.

“But that progress is conditional, provisional. We must keep reducing the incidence of this disease. We must keep that R down below 1.

“And that means we must remember the basics. Wash our hands, keep social distance, isolate if you have symptoms – and get a test.”

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