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News | Published July 03 2020

PM to call for calm ahead of lockdown easing

Prime minister Boris Johnson is due to hold a press conference from Downing Street at 17:00 BST on Friday, where he will ask the public to “act responsibly” when further lockdown restrictions in England are eased from Saturday.

Several businesses such as restaurants, pubs, hairdressers and cinemas are will reopen for the first time since the lockdown was called in late March, with pubs able to open from as early as 06:00 BST on Saturday July 4.

Nevertheless, Johnson will urge calm following the implementing of a localised lockdown in Leicester after a surge of new cases in the area, meaning businesses and schools in the city cannot yet reopen.

The changes to lockdown coming in from Saturday were first announced last week, and will include a change in the two-metre social distancing guidelines, which will now be reduced to “one-metre plus”.

In his speech on Friday, the PM will say that the relaxing of rules will be to “support the livelihoods of business owners and their employees up and down the country".

Johnson will add: “The success of these businesses, the livelihoods of those who rely on them, and ultimately the economic health of the whole country is dependent on every single one of us acting responsibly. We must not let them down.

“Just as when we first locked down, we will only succeed in reopening if everyone works together. Because we are not out of the woods yet. The virus is still with us and the spike in Leicester has shown that."

Johnson is also set to remind the public that the government can reintroduce restrictions and “will not hesitate in putting on the brakes” should the new rules bring about an upsurge in cases.

Warning against contravening the rules, the PM will say: “Anyone who flouts social distancing and Covid-secure rules is not only putting us all at risk but letting down those businesses and workers who have done so much to prepare for this new normal.

"So as we take this next step, our biggest step yet, on the road to recovery, I urge the British public to do so safely."

Representatives from the various emergency services have also appealed for members of the public to behave in a sensible manner ahead of the reopening of pubs, calling on people to drink in moderation and adhere to social distancing measures.

Meanwhile, pubs and restaurants are opening on Friday in Northern Ireland and no dates have yet been confirmed for Wales. In Scotland, Holyrood has confirmed that beer gardens and outdoor restaurants can reopen from Monday [July 6], with indoor areas for such businesses able to follow suit from July 15.


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Authored by

Alexander Bridge-Wilkinson
Junior Editor
@
July 03 2020

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