Pubs, bars and restaurants may not open until ‘lockdown ends after Easter’
Brits face a three-month lockdown with some restrictions in place after Easter, it has been reported.
Ministers are reportedly considering proposals to begin reopening the economy in April in similar conditions the country saw in the summer.
A return to full normality could be delayed for at least 12 to 14 weeks to allow all over-50s to have their second dose of the vaccine, the Telegraph reported.
Ministers are keen to reopen hospitality venues in some capacity before the second weekend of June, a source familiar with the discussions told the paper.
National measures would be eased in advance of the G7 summit, allowing pubs, restaurants and bars to begin trading again.
Boris Johnson has previously suggested England will return to the Tier system after the nationwide lockdown ends, but sources suggest tiers may apply to the entire country rather than geographical areas.
“The appetite for regional tiers will only come if you have large swathes of the country that are significantly lower in case numbers and new variant case numbers and hospitalisations,” a source said.
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It's understood officials are planning to reopen schools first, followed by personal freedoms like meeting friends and family outdoors.
After, the hospitality sector, like tourism, pubs and bars would open with social distancing measures in place, according to reports.
The plans could see a full reopening of the economy under 'normal' rules by July, once the over-50s have had a second dose of the Covid vaccine.
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Downing Street did not respond directly to the reports when approached by the Telegraph. A No10 spokesman said: "It's not a timetable under discussion".
It comes as Matt Hancock warned it would be a "long, long, long" time before Covid cases are low enough for lockdown to be scrapped.
Speaking on Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme, the Health Secretary said there was “early evidence that the lockdown is starting to bring cases down”.
But he warned any further new variants could affect when restrictions can be eased.
He said yesterday that scientists are unsure how much more deadly the Kent coronavirus variant is.
Sir Patrick Vallance indicated previously it may kill 30% more people, but said data currently available is patchy at best.
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