Boris Johnson says he will be going to the pub ‘in a few days’
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The Prime Minister will address the nation from Downing Street’s new £2.6million briefing room at 5pm this evening. His press conference comes as people in England are now allowed to meet in groups of six outdoors and organised sport returns.
Lockdown restrictions have been eased today in part two of the first step of the roadmap back to normality, after earlier this month all children returned to the classrooms for the first time since January.
However, there are concerns the easing of restrictions could lead to a spike in cases, with a third wave of the deadly virus already spreading through the EU.
Tonight, the Prime Minister will urge the public not to abuse the relaxation of the rules and to continue abiding by social distancing rules.
Ahead of today, Mr Johnson said: “I know how much people have missed the camaraderie and competition of organised sport, and how difficult it has been to restrict physical activities – especially for children.
Boris Johnson will address the nation at 5pm tonight (Image: PA)
“But we must remain cautious, with cases rising across Europe and new variants threatening our vaccine rollout.
“Despite today's easements, everyone must continue to stick to the rules, remember hands, face, space, and come forward for a vaccine when called.”
A new advert urging people in England to “take this next step safely” will be aired on TV channels from tonight, being shown for the first time on ITV at approximately 7.15pm.
Adapting the current guidelines, the advert will promote the message: “Hands, Face, Space and Fresh Air.”
Echoing the message from Mr Jonhson, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “As we see from rising cases in Europe, this virus still poses a very real threat.
“We have come so far thanks to the vaccine rollout and that progress must be protected.
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The Prime Minister will urge the public to stick to the rules (Image: PA)
“So let's take this next step safely, when you meet others do so outdoors, and keep a safe distance.”
Across Europe, countries are reimposing lockdown measures due to a rise in coronavirus cases, caused in part by the Kent variant which wreaked havoc across the UK in December and led to the third lockdown in England.
In France, health officials have warned Paris’s hospitals are at risk of being overrun, with one warning: “In 10 days, 15 days or three weeks we may be overwhelmed.”
Germany’s public health agency has warned of “exponential” case growth, while Belgium has shut all schools and universities from today hoping extending the Easter break will help curb the spread.
Coronavirus in numbers latest (Image: EXPRESS)
There is hope the rapid rollout of the vaccine across the UK will help stop the third wave engulfing the continent from delaying the relaxation of Covid rules over the coming months.
More than 30 million Brits have now been given a first dose of a jab, approximately 57 percent of the adult population.
Ministers have pledged to give a first injection to all adults by the end of July.
Yesterday the UK reported 19 new Covid deaths, the lowest number since September.
A further 343 people were admitted to hospital, while 3,862 new coronavirus cases were recorded.
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