Boris Johnson to clarify details on new lockdown roadmap

11 May 2020, 06:10

Boris Johnson will clarify the details of the new lockdown
Boris Johnson will clarify the details of the new lockdown. Picture: LBC News
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

The Prime Minister will set out more detailed plans on slowly easing the coronavirus lockdown to MPs in the Commons on Monday amid widespread calls for clarification.

On Sunday Boris Johnson announced to the nation a slight easing of current coronavirus lockdown restrictions and he will face Parliament on Monday.

The PM will address the Commons revealing more information on his planned Covid-19 alert system and his "first sketch of a road map" for restarting the economy and social lives in England.

Read more: Coronavirus lockdown - What changes has Boris Johnson made to restrictions?

In a televised address to the nation from Downing Street on Sunday, the PM announced a phased reopening of non-essential shops and schools in England could potentially begin from June 1.

Mr Johnson also told those who cannot work form home should return to their jobs from Monday, but warnings have been issued over the use of public transport.

On Monday morning Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told LBC the Government was striving to keep a "UK wide approach" as far as possible, but that they understand the devolved nations could take another line.

Mr Raab said the Government planned to publish a 50-page document in Parliament on Monday to fill in any gaps left after the Prime Minister's speech on Sunday.

Read more: New 'stay alert' coronavirus slogan criticised ahead of PM's speech

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Government officials said tennis, water sports, angling and golf would be permitted as long as social distancing was enforced, Mr Johnson granted unlimited exercise in England from Wednesday.

Read more: Boris Johnson announces six new lockdown rules ahead of speech

And people will also be allowed to sunbathe or chat in English parks with one other person from a different household as long as two-metre distancing is maintained.

Mr Johnson began easing the lockdown he imposed on March 23 as official figures suggested the UK death toll passed 36,800.

He relaxed his "stay home" slogan to instead tell people to "stay alert", but had not consulted the leaders of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - and they refused to adopt the new message.

Read more: Scotland removes once-a-day lockdown exercise limit

The PM also faced calls for clarity on the measures from businesses, unions and police.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the announcement lacked "clarity and consensus", while "effectively telling millions of people to go back to work tomorrow" without clear guidelines.

He said: "This statement raises as many questions as it answers, and we see the prospect of England, Scotland and Wales pulling in different directions."

Read more: Boris Johnson to reveal five-stage warning scheme ahead of easing restrictions

Primary pupils could go back to school in steps staggered by year groups "at the earliest by June 1", with secondary pupils with exams next year to get some teaching time before the holidays.

The National Education Union, representing teachers, said the idea of reopening schools with the rate of infection as it is was "nothing short of reckless".

Mr Johnson said he was hampered because the rate of transmission, or R, remained too high between 0.5 and 0.9 "but potentially just below one", above which a rapid resurgence could follow.

But in the third step, "at the earliest by July", he said ministers hope to reopen some of the hospitality industry, if the evidence supports the move and distancing can be enforced.

Business leaders and unions were calling for details on what protective equipment staff needed, distancing measures that needed to be in place and on Government support schemes.

The PM also said he would take questions from the public in some form.

Further details are expected on plans to impose a 14-day quarantine on people flying into the UK and on a five-tier alert system to inform relaxation and strengthening of measures.