Boris Johnson promises 'light ahead' as he plans to lift lockdown
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The Prime Minister outlined yesterday his roadmap out of lockdown in two much-anticipated addresses. The plans could see England become restriction-free by June 21 should all four tests set by the Government be met, including an examination on whether the vaccine rollout is continuing to progress at a good pace.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday evening, the Prime Minister has refuted speculation home working could become a permanent reality, branding it a “paradox”.
He also expressed hopes the public will soon fill the city centres as it did before the coronavirus pandemic gripped the world.
He said: “I don’t believe that this is going to mean a fundamental change to the way life in our big cities really works.
“The better remote communication gets, and the more people can see other talk on mobile devices, there’s a paradox – the more actually they want to see others face to face.
“I think London and our great cities will be full of the buzz and life and excitement again, provided people have confidence about coming back into those city centres.”
Martin Beck, chief UK economist at Oxford, hailed the long-awaited move as “good for confidence”.
Speaking to the Telegraph, he added that the enhanced prospect of domestic holidays would drive Britain’s growth.
He said: “The shackles are coming off the UK economy. We spend more on services like leisure and hospitality and less on food and energy or fuel than the Europeans.
“It is these services that were most exposed to lockdowns, which will be a relative advantage this year and become a tailwind rather than a headwind.
“Now we know there is an end date that will be good for confidence. More staycations this year will also be good for domestic growth.”
Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are set to unveil their own roadmaps to end lockdown measures in the coming days.
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As well as the announcement of England’s roadmap, the Prime Minister confirmed four reviews would be conducted to consider lifting the restrictions not observed in his plan.
Such measures could include the ending of the wearing of face masks and the return of international holidays.
The announcement comes after the latest official figures showed more than 17.6 million people in the UK have received their first dose of a vaccine.
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