On Easter Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson will meet with his Cabinet to sign off the next stage of lockdown easing in the UK, before addressing the nation in a Downing Street briefing. On the agenda, we can expect to see the PM discussing the opening up of hospitality and non-essential retail, the plans for coronavirus vaccine passports, rapid testing, and international travel.
What time is Boris Johnson speaking?
While the exact time of the briefing from Downing Street hasn’t been announced, we can expect to hear from the Prime Minister around 5pm on Easter Monday.
The speech will mark the latest in the government’s plans to open the UK economy up once more, after a long and brutal lockdown winter.
Mr Johnson is expected to discuss three main things – the next step in the roadmap, international travel and Covid passports.
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What will the PM say?
April 12 unlocking
Mr Johnson is expected to formally give the go-ahead to move to the next stage of the roadmap for easing lockdown on April 12.
The plans to ease lockdown are based on four tests linked to emerging Covid data, and these must be satisfied before moving on to the next phase.
These four criteria are: the vaccine rollout continuing as planned, vaccines bringing down deaths and hospitalisations, case numbers not threatening the NHS, and no new variants creating unforeseen risks.
The Prime Minister has been meeting with scientists over the weekend to analyse the latest data and this will inform his announcement today.
From April 12, the following is expected to be allowed:
- All shops allowed to open, along with close-contact services, including hairdressers and beauty salons
- Restaurants and pubs allowed to serve food and alcohol to customers sitting outdoors
- Gyms and spas can reopen, as can zoos, theme parks, libraries and community centres
- Members of the same household can take a holiday in England in self-contained accommodation
- Weddings attended by up to 15 people can take place
Mr Johnson is expected to set out a travel traffic light system to open borders.
Countries are expected to be graded as green, amber or red for UK travellers.
Green countries would mean people could return to the UK with no restrictions.
Amber destinations would most likely mean people having to quarantine at home.
Red countries would likely require a formal, 10-day quarantine stay at a hotel.
You can read more about which countries could be on which list HERE.
The Prime Minister is also expected to set out plans to test Covid passports or certification.
The government is expected to say that a Covid certificate or passport will be needed to show that you have either: had a vaccine, a recent negative test, or a positive one in the past six months so you have antibodies.
Covid passports are expected to be largely digital, with certification on your phone.
The public won’t be required to show certification to enter venues, such as pubs or restaurants, but will be required for theatres, cinemas and music or sporting events.