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Speaking from the House of Parliament Wednesday, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that he wants the country to have “an idea of what’s coming” starting Monday, in easing coronavirus lockdown regulations.
Johnson is expected to announce Sunday the plan he has put in place to start removing restrictions that were instated seven weeks ago due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Infection and hospitalization numbers peaked in the U.K. in mid-April. Now that the curve has flattened, the government is preparing to lift certain restrictions.
Johnson is expected to release a five-stage plan, as reported by the Mirror, to be carried out over the next six months.
Stage one of the “road map” is expected to include “unlimited exercise” and the reopening of outdoor spaces.
But not all government leaders are in agreement with Johnson’s reported plans, such as reopening schools by the end of May or early June.
Speaking during her daily press briefing Tuesday, First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon did not comment on whether or not she would comply with Johnson’s proposed dates to reopen schools.
“We will only make changes to lockdown rules when we believe it is safe to do so, whether that is in reopening schools or businesses or increasing social interaction,” Sturgeon said.
The prime minister’s communities secretary, Robert Jenrick, expressed the government’s “strong preference” to have “the whole country move as one” in lifting coronavirus lockdown restrictions, when speaking from Downing Street on Wednesday.
Though he did say there could be exceptions in areas where infection rates are still high.
“But if as we build up our infrastructure for testing and tracking and tracing, and in time it’s required for us to make interventions in smaller, micro-communities where you’re seeing the virus take hold again, then that will be something that we consider,” Jenrick said.
Johnson has acknowledged how hard it is has been for Brits to comply with the strict regulations that were put in place weeks ago, tweeting last week: “I know how hard and how stressful it has been to give up even temporarily those ancient and basic freedoms, not seeing friends, not seeing loved ones, working from home, managing the kids, worrying about your job and your firm.”