Boris Johnson urges millions to 'behave responsibly' as England's lockdown eases

11 April 2021, 22:30 | Updated: 12 April 2021, 06:12

Outdoor pub service will resume in England from Monday.
Outdoor pub service will resume in England from Monday. Picture: PA

By Will Taylor

Boris Johnson has urged people to "behave responsibly" when pubs and restaurants resume outdoor service as England’s Covid lockdown eases again.

The Prime Minister said it was a "major step forward" as non-essential retail, hairdressers, and indoor gyms and swimming pools return.

However, social mixing indoors remains restricted and the Government wants to avoid a major uptick in infections with two-in-five adults still to receive a first dose of a vaccine.

Mr Johnson said: "I'm sure it will be a huge relief for those business owners who have been closed for so long, and for everyone else it's a chance to get back to doing some of the things we love and have missed.

"I urge everyone to continue to behave responsibly and remember 'hands, face, space and fresh air' to suppress Covid as we push on with our vaccination programme."

Other parts of the UK are due to enjoy more freedoms, with Wales permitting non-essential retail to reopen and travel to the rest of the UK and Ireland.

Read more: Millions of people in England get ready for lockdown easing tomorrow

Read more: Police urge public to stick to the rules and 'drink responsibly' as lockdown eases

School pupils will be allowed to return to face-to-face teaching in Wales and Northern Ireland, in moves being echoed in Scotland as pupils return from their Easter breaks.

The order to stay at home will also be dropped in Northern Ireland and the number of people allowed to meet outdoors will rise from six to ten.

Read more: Pub owners urge Government to guarantee full easing of restrictions by June

In England, pubs and restaurants have tried to adjust to serving customers outside but the British Beer and Pub Association estimates that just 40% of licensed premises have the space to reopen for outdoor service.

Establishments have been boosted, however, by the Government deciding against reimposing the 10pm curfew and substantial meal requirement previously seen.

Social distancing will still need to be maintained.

Boris Johnson has urged for responsibility as pubs return in England.
Boris Johnson has urged for responsibility as pubs return in England. Picture: PA

Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies with 15 people can take place in Covid-secure venues.

Care homes will be allowed to have two regular visitors indoors provided they have taken a Covid test and wear PPE.

Domestic tourism can resume to a degree. Overnight stays will be allowed in self-contained accommodation, holiday lets and campsites without shared indoor facilities, provided they are only used by members of the same household or support bubble.

Read more: Hairdressers 'fully booked for at least six weeks' ahead of reopening

Indoor socialising remains banned, though if the data suggests it is safe to do so, the rule of six will return for indoor gatherings from 17 May at the earliest.

The latest coronavirus data on Sunday shows another seven people died 28 days after testing positive for Covid-19 while 1,730 more cases were confirmed.

About 61% of adults have had at least one dose of the vaccine while official figures suggest more than 32 million people have received a jab. Over 14% have had both doses.