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Boris Johnson to confirm indoor hospitality and cinemas will return next week
9 May 2021, 22:30 | Updated: 10 May 2021, 10:18
Boris Johnson will confirm further easing of coronavirus restrictions in England during a press conference on Monday afternoon.
From May 17, all but the highest risk businesses reopen, with indoor hospitality set to return, alongside cinemas, hotels and some larger events with restrictions on capacity.
The announcement will see the UK move to step three of the roadmap out of lockdown, on the back of the news that a third of adults have had a second dose of a vaccine.
The Government said that data shows another easing should not lead to a surge of infections that overwhelm the NHS.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "The data reflects what we already knew - we are not going to let this virus beat us.
"The Roadmap remains on track, our successful vaccination programme continues – more than two-thirds of adults in the UK have now had the first vaccine – and we can now look forward to unlocking cautiously but irreversibly.
"It's because of the British public's unwavering commitment that we are saving lives, protecting the NHS and controlling the virus."
There is hope he Mr Johnson will also say that hugging is back on the cards, after more than a year of social distancing.
A review into social distancing is also expected to be carried out before the Government moves to step four on June 21 at the earliest.
More than 35 million people have a had a first dose of a Covid vaccine, while more than 17 million have received their second jab.
Downing Street said that infections are at their lowest level since September, with hospital admissions similar to July, after months of lockdown.
Mr Johnson is also set to express his gratitude to the public for the sacrifices they have made to get coronavirus under control.
Under step three, indoor hospitality will not have to serve a substantial meal with alcohol, and there will be no curfew – but table service will remain.
The rest of the accommodation sector will also return, as will indoor adult group sports and exercise classes.
Performances of up to 1,000 people or half-full venues – whichever number is smaller – can be permitted, while outdoor venues could hold performances for up to 4,000 people or at half capacity.
In the largest outdoor seated venues, where the crowd can be spaced out, up to 10,000 people can attend, or a quarter of capacity, whichever is lower.
Weddings, receptions, wakes and funerals will have a limit of 30 people, as will other significant life events like christenings and bar mitzvahs.
The social distancing review will see when and where the one-metre plus social distancing rule can be lifted.
Working from home should continue until this review is complete.