Johnson announces expected easing for Brits (Brussels)

From next Monday, April 12, the British will again be allowed to go to the hairdresser, the zoo, the gym, the shops and the pubs. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has just announced this. There is still no green light for foreign travel.

At around 6 pm our time, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson presented his ‘roadmap’ towards freedom in London. From April 12, ‘step 2’ of the lockdown exit will come into effect. As expected, hairdressers, shops, zoos, amusement parks, libraries, gyms and catering businesses with terraces may open again in England next week. The other parts of the country determine their own corona rules.

“We stick to our planned rollout of the eases,” said the prime minister. ‘In the current corona figures, we do not see any signs forcing us to deviate from our program. But it is only by being careful and keeping a close eye on the data, and by continuing to follow the ground rules at every stage, that we can make this roadmap towards freedom irreversible. ‘

Telework is always recommended

The corona situation in Great Britain has clearly improved in recent weeks. The seven-day incidence is now 44 infections per 100,000 inhabitants. “On Monday the 12th I will go to a pub myself and carefully, but irrevocably, bring a beer to my lips,” promised Boris Johnson. There will also be no curfew for the pubs and alcohol will be allowed.

In the residential care centers, two people per resident are allowed to visit again and children are allowed to participate in indoor activities again. Weddings may continue outside with 15 attendees. Telework is still recommended.

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Johnson praised the great efforts of the British. He called the easing a well-deserved reward for the entire population, who with the lockdown gave the country time to carry out as many as 31 million vaccinations.

No travel yet

But whether the British will be able to go on holiday abroad is still not clear. In an update, the British government warns not to book summer trips yet, ‘until the picture is clearer ”’ reports the British public broadcaster BBC.

The earliest date to re-allow non-essential international travel would be May 17. Although that date can be postponed, depending on the situation in other countries.

In the meantime, work is being done on a new system of corona passports. Previously, British media had reported that there would be a ‘traffic light’ to determine which countries people can or cannot travel to. Countries classified as red are considered a risk and travelers who do go there must be quarantined for ten days under supervision in a very expensive place when they return. Holidaymakers returning from a country classified as orange must be quarantined at home. Travelers who have been to ‘green countries’ only need to bring a negative corona test.

Coronapaspoort

That corona passport is something of the future, according to Boris Johnson. There is a lot of resistance from the population, because it can lead to discrimination against those who have not been vaccinated. ‘There are a lot of ethical and practical uncertainties that need to be clarified about this, at the moment a passport – in this phase – is not foreseen.’ It may one day be used for (mass) events such as nightclubs, festivals or sports competitions.

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He was very clear about situations where a corona or vaccination passport would ‘never’ be required: in shops, for public services or on public transport. Earlier today, the prime minister promised that the British will receive free self-tests, up to twice a week.

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