The plan, revealed by the Times, claims shops and outdoor workplaces will reopen first, followed by large shopping centres. Businesses will also be encouraged to phase out working from home practices in favour of a return to the office. Pubs, restaurants, hotels and leisure centres will be among the last to reopen.
It comes after the EU’s agency for disease control singled out Britain as one of five countries that has failed to get a grip of the coronavirus pandemic.
The UK, which now has the highest death toll in Europe, was highlighted because the outbreak is understood to be one or two weeks behind over countries on the continent.
Sweden, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria were also shamed.
Sergio Brusin, principal expert for emergency response at the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC), told CNBC: “Most EU/EEA (European Economic Area) countries have observed decreases in the daily number of newly reported cases in the last two weeks.”
But in the five countries highlighted, there had been “no substantial change” in the 14 day notification rate – a measure of the prevalence of active coronavirus cases in the population.
The marker is reached by taking the total number of cases over the 14 days prior to a specific date, in a particular country, and comparing it with 14-day period in the past – to assess how the number has changed.
The ECDC said the measure provides a more accurate measure of coronavirus cases in a country, as the daily figure can vary quite substantially.
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The EU has shamed Britain for its handling of the coronavirus pandemic
The EU agency said the 14-day rate has been decreasing in the vast majority of European nations.
But for the UK, Sweden, Bulgaria, Poland and Romania – a reduction in cases was yet to be seen.
Britain was highlighted because its coronavirus outbreak is believed to be several weeks behind over countries, so the number of cases and death toll could continue to rise for some time.
Sweden was berated for its decision to not impose a strict lockdown.
The government’s decision to keep the economy going is highly controversial and instead officials advised the public to work from home and limit contact with vulnerable groups, such as the elderly.
Sweden has recorded 23,216 positive cases of coronavirus, and has a death toll of 2,854 – as of May 5.
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Coronavirus UK map
1pm update: Scotland unveils latest death toll
Scotland’s death toll has risen by 83, take the country’s total to 1,703.
Nicola Sturgeon said 12,709 people have now tested positive for the virus in Scotland, up by 272 from 12,437 the day before.
12.24pm update: Boris says he want some lockdown easing from Monday
Keir Starmer asked if the Prime Minister will present his lockdown exit strategy to the Commons on Monday.
Boris told him there will be a statement to the Commons on Monday.
He said he wants to introduce some of these measures on Monday.
The full announcement will come on Sunday.
12.10pm update: Boris announces new testing target of 200,000 a day
Boris Johnson said he wants to ramp up the number of coronavirus tests carried out each day to 200,000.
The current target, which was reached last week, stood at 100,000.
He hopes the UK will reach the testing capacity by the end of the month.
12pm update: Boris faces Keir Starmer in PMQs
11.40am update: Twitter to tackle spread of coronavirus conspiracy theories
Twitter has said it plans to tackle the spread of damaging conspiracy theories linking mobile phone technology with the coronavirus, by direction people searching for 5g to British Government-verified information.
The theory, which has spread on social media, has resulted in attacks on mobile telecoms masts and abuse directed at engineers in Britain.
Scientists, phone companies and the government have said it is completely untrue.
Twitter said the search prompt would inform users that the Government had seen no link between 5G and COVID-19, and include a link to a Government website with credible, factual and verified information in relation to 5G.
11.14am update: UK did not sacrifice care homes, says Hancock
Matt Hancock has defended the Government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, and rebutted accusations that it left many elderly people in care homes vulnerable to COVID-19 by prioritising hospitals.
When asked on Sky News whether he should have acted differently towards care homes, the Health Minister said: “I think it’s very hard because I feel like we put a huge amount of effort and resources behind supporting care homes from the start.”
“Maybe we should’ve explained that more clearly.”
10.37am update: Professor Ferguson’s lockdown breach could be police matter, says Hancock
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said the police could get involved in Professor Neil Ferguson’s lockdown breach.
When asked by Sky’s Kat Burley if the former scientific adviser should be prosecuted, Mr Hancock said: “It’s a matter for the police.
“As a Government minister, I’m not allowed to get involved in the operational decisions of police matters.
“But I think that the social distancing rules are very important and people should be followed.”
Boris Johnson takes a morning walk through St James’ Park
10.03am update: EU warns of worst recession since the Great Depression
The European Union fears it will suffer a recession worst than the Great Depression because of the coronavirus crisis.
The European Commission warned of the impact on growth, unemployment, exceptionally high levels of uncertainty, including over Brexit, and the risk to spiralling public debt.
Paolo Gentiloni, European Commissioner for the Economy, said: “Europe is experiencing an economic shock without precedent since the Great Depression.
“Both the depth of the recession and the strength of recovery will be uneven, conditioned by the speed at which lockdowns can be lifted, the importance of services like tourism in each economy and by each country’s financial resources.”
9.25am update: The UK’s guide to easing lockdown has been leaked
The Times reports shops and outdoor work places will be the first to reopen under a three-stage lockdown plan, apparently drawn up by Government officials.
The second will see large shopping centres reopen, with more people encouraged to go back to work.
But pubs, restaurants, hotels and leisure centres will be among the last to reopen.
This sector is expected to be given continues support under the Government’s furlough scheme, while over work places will see an end to the job retention scheme.
9.17am update: UK prepares to wind down furlough scheme from July
The Chancellor Rishi Sunak is preparing to wind down the Government’s furlough scheme from July as the country gradually returns back to normal.
Mr Sunak is expected to announce the wage-subsidy scheme will be steadily scaled back as businesses return to work.
The Treasury is understood to be examining several options for tapering the scheme, including cutting the 80 percent wage subsidy paid by the state to 60 percent and lowering the £2,500 cap on monthly payments.
Another option promoted by employers’ groups is to allow furloughed staff to work, but with a smaller state subsidy, is also under consideration.
A final decision is yet to be reached.
9.01am update: ITV’s ad revenue falls 42%
ITV, the UK’s largest free-to-air commercial broadcaster, has said the coroanvirus pandemic has caused advertising revenue to fall 42 percent last month.
The group has already furloughed about 800 workers.
Chief Executive Carolyn McCall said ITV had taken swift and decisive action to manage and mitigate the impact of COVID-19, both on its people and its finances.
The broadcaster had already cut executive pay and cancelled its 2019 final dividend to help preserve cash.
It has also slashed its programme budget by £100million.
Pubs are expected to be one of the last things allowed to open
8.24am update: Professor Neil Ferguson ‘was right to resign’
Security Minister James Brokenshire said Professor Ferguson had “made the right decision” in resigning from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) after admitting he broke lockdown rules.
Last night it emerged the leading scientific allowed a woman, said to be his “lover”, to visit him at home on at least two occasions during the lockdown.
Commenting on his resignation, Mr Brokenshire told Sky News: “Professor Ferguson, I think, has obviously made his statement underlining that there’s no excuse for not following the social distancing rules, and I think he’s made the right decision here.
“The work of Sage continues and obviously we will continue to be informed by that group and the experts that provide that support to the Government.”
8am update: Ocado sales soar in lockdown
British online supermarket and technology company Ocado has said retail revenue soared 40.4 percent in its second quarter so far as shoppers turn to food deliveries during the coronavirus lockdown.
That compared to growth of 10.3% in its first quarter to March 1.
Ocado said it adapted its platform and ramped up capacity rapidly in order to meet unprecedented demand and was now delivering significantly more groceries to UK households than ever before.