The Prime Minister’s “Stay at Home” message which he has been pushing since he imposed the lockdown six weeks ago will give way to more relaxed advice, according to a leaked government document. He will instead advise the public to “be careful when you’re out” as he rolls back the strict measures which were introduced to curb the spread of coronavirus and protect the NHS.
On Sunday he will unveil his five-step exit strategy in an address to the nation.
Mr Johnson will undertake a review of the lockdown measures with his Cabinet later today.
He is largely expected to extend the restrictions for another three weeks but with an easing of some rules coming into effect from Monday.
The leaked 50-page document lays out how the lockdown will not fully be lifted until October, The Daily Mail reports.
It warns an “emergency brake” could be applied if a second wave of coronavirus sweeps across Britain.
Boris Johnson is expected to ease lockdown measures from Monday
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On Monday staff are expected to return to businesses which have remained open.
Garden centres are set to reopen their doors and the lockdown exercise rule which permits just one outing per day will be done away with.
Police have been out and about patrolling parks and beaches since the lockdown began, moving on sunbathers and those sitting on benches.
Officers will next week be told to lay off on this action.
Sunbathing will be permitted provided that each person is two metres apart.
Police speak to a swimmer on Brighton beach during the lockdown
And people heading to parks and the countryside for picnics and walks will be free to do so.
However the plan has sparked chaos and infighting.
One source told the Mirror: “It’s a bit of a shambles. Nobody can quite agree what to do and when to do it.
“Somebody comes up with a bright idea, but the practicalities get in the way. We’re not South Korea.”
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Pupils will start to return to school at the end of May, a leaked Government document says
2.21pm update: The UK’s hospital death toll has risen by 464
The total includes 383 people in England, 59 in Scotland, 18 in Wales and four in Northern Ireland.
The UK’s hospital death toll now stands at 25,678.
The actual number of COVID-19 death is estimated to be above 30,000.
2.06pm update: Notting Hill Carnival has been cancelled
The carnival’s board said on Thursday that the 2020 August bank holiday event on the streets of west London will not take place, but they are working on holding a celebration on the same weekend in an alternative form.
1.54pm update: Lockdown changes from next week will be ‘very limited’ says PM’s spokesman
He said Boris Johnson would exercise “maximum caution” when rolling back the measures.
The spokesman said: “We are at a critical moment in the fight against the virus and we will not do anything that risks the progress the British public has made.”
1.17pm update: Welsh ministers hit out at ‘confusing and mixed messages’ about lockdown
A spokesman for the Welsh Government said the message from Wales this weekend remained to stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.
“The Welsh Cabinet met this morning to discuss the lockdown restrictions and will meet again this evening,” he said.
“It is crucially important that the people of Wales are informed clearly and accurately about what, if any, changes are made to the current stay-at-home restrictions.
“Some of the reporting in today’s newspapers is confusing and risks sending mixed messages to people across the UK.
“The First Minister of Wales will announce the outcome of the Cabinet’s decision in due course.”
Pret will reopen stores from next Monday
12.45pm update: Nicola Sturgeon has extended Scotland’s lockdown by three weeks
The First Minister said the next review will take place on May 28.
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12.20pm update: PM’s lockdown statement scheduled for 7pm on Sunday
The BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg said the Prime Minister will address the nation about the route out of the lockdown on Sunday evening at 7pm.
12.10pm update: Schools reopen in UK: Pupils to return despite teachers’ fears
Schools are set to reopen at the end of May or beginning of June, according to a leaked 50-page Government report outlining the UK’s plan to ease the lockdown.
Year 6 pupils who are due to transition in to secondary school in September will be the first group to be called back.
The plan includes five stages of slowing lifting the lockdown measures which were introduced on March 23 with the aim of curbing the spread of coronavirus.
According to the leaked report, a phased return of primary schools will begin at the end of the month.
For the full story click here.
11.29am update: Fury as Government forced to impound 400,000 gowns from Turkey
A planeload of medical gowns flown in from Turkey has failed to meet British safety standards, with all 400,000 pieces of protective equipment being impounded.
For the full story click here.
Next week police are expected to be told not to move sunbathers on
10.38am update: Pret a Manger to reopen stores
Pret is planning to reopen a further 71 cafes in London and across the UK on May 11.
The high street chain has already reopened 30 stores as it moves to resume services after closing branches at the start of the coronavirus lockdown.
Deliveries will be available through Deliveroo, Just Eat and UberEats, depending on each shop location, Pret said.
For customers looking to take away, shops will operate at reduced hours with customers made to queue two metres apart.
Only card payments will be allowed, with no cash accepted.
10.20am update: Spain’s daily death toll falls again on Thursday – health ministry
Spain’s coronavirus daily death toll fell on Thursday to 213 down from 244 the day before, the health ministry reported.
The overall number of coronavirus deaths rose to 26,070, up from 25,857 on Wednesday.
The number of diagnosed cases of coronavirus in the country rose to 221,447 from 220,325 the previous day.
10.12am update: Black people four times more likely to die with coronavirus than white people
The Office for National statistics (ONS) has found that black people have a higher risk of dying with coronavirus than white people.
Black women are more likely to die by a factor of 4.3 and black men by 4.2 after adjusting for age compared to white people.
And people of mixed ethnic background or who are Bangladeshi, Pakistani or Indian are also more at risk.
The ONS said the UK’s most deprived areas had reported more deaths twice as high as well-off areas.
9.12am update: Furlough scheme to be extended beyond June if necessary – Brandon Lewis
Cabinet minister Brandon Lewis has said the Government will extend the furlough scheme for workers beyond June if necessary.
The Secretary of State of Northern Ireland told BBC News: “If we need to extend furlough beyond June we will do that” while stressing the Government would do “whatever it takes” to help workers.
8.30am update: Anneliese Dodds calls for ‘much stronger’ post-lockdown guidance
Shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds has called for the Government to make its guidelines for businesses returning back to work “much stronger”.
Speaking on BBC Breakfast about the safety guidelines for businesses, she said: “Again if we compare the guidelines that have been put forward in the UK to those being used in other countries, there is far more ambiguity in the UK guidelines.”
She added: “We do need, as the TUC has rightly drawn attention to, to make sure that bad employers don’t do the wrong thing, we need to make sure there’s enforcement and the UK scheme doesn’t have enough in it to ensure that.
“And this is critical for our economic health because if people do not have confidence in their safety going back to work and in their safety using different businesses as consumers we’ll have a much longer recession than we need to have.
“And it is not clear to me yet that Government has fully understood that.”
8.06am update: Bank of England predicts record crash
The Bank of England has warned the economy will contract by 30 percent in the second quarter.
Unemployment is expected to jump to nine percent before gradually reducing to its current level in 2022.
Governor of the Bank, Andrew Bailey, and his colleagues on the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted unanimously in favour of holding rates at 0.1 percent.