HomeWorld NewsEnd of coronavirus lockdown in sight with pubs open, family sleepovers and all kids back in school as 2m rule to be cut
End of coronavirus lockdown in sight with pubs open, family sleepovers and all kids back in school as 2m rule to be cut
THE end of lockdown is in sight as Government scientists OK the two-metre rule cut – meaning pubs could soon open and families stay over with relatives.
Britain has endured 13 weeks of restrictions and social distancing to stem the spread of coronavirus.
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And now, as rules are gradually relaxed, there is more light at the end of the tunnel.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is now prepping to signal the end of the most severe restrictions.
Within the next fortnight announcements are expected to allow hotels and restaurants to reopen next month.
Brits desperately missing catching up with pals at the pub could soon be back at the bar or ordering through an app to keep safe.
Schools are set to be given new guidance which would allow children to return to the classroom in numbers of up to 30 from September.
And families who have been diligently keeping apart since the lockdown was announced could soon have overnight stays with their loved ones.
At the moment, overnight stays are not allowed, and even being inside another household which you are not bubbled up with is not permitted.
It comes as:
Matt Hancock revealed the UK's death rate is back to normal for the first time since lockdown began
New ONS stats show the epidemic is shrinking with 33k people currently infected
Schools in Northern Ireland to cut 2m rule down to 1m so all kids can go return
One in three NHS trusts reported no coronavirus deaths for a week
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And as the summer holiday months approach, ministers are also said to be fine tuning negotiations to set up "air bridges" with up ten countries, to allow Brits to go abroad without facing severe quarantine restrictions.
Airports are gradually opening up again, signalling the return of non essential travel – with London City Airport reopening on Sunday after being closed to commercial flights for nearly three months.
More than two million vulnerable people were ordered to shield and stay inside to protect them from the killer bug, but they will soon be allowed to go shopping and enjoy leisure activities.
Britain's high streets were opened back up last week and people were seen eagerly flooding to the shops – as the PM works to get the economy back up and running once more.
Scientists have said they are "totally comfortable with" the two-metre social distancing rule being reduced – but only if people sit side by side and wear face coverings as much as possible.
The UK's coronavirus death toll hit 42,461 yesterday – with a 12-year-old child among the victims.
'STARTING TO MAKE SOME REAL PROGRESS'
It comes as the UK's coronavirus alert level has been lowered from four to three.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock described the move as “big moment for the country” and praised Brits’ determination to beat the disease.
Yesterday the PM told the nation to “watch this space” on the ruling as he declared the country was moving into the next phase of the Covid battle.
He also urged Brits to try to conquer their fear of Covid-19.
He went on: “We have got to start thinking of a world in which we are less apprehensive about this disease.
“Yes, it has been a horrible shock for the country and for the world and I think the British people have worked incredibly hard to drive it down.
"But we are starting to make some real progress with test and trace, treatments for the disease.
“I hope as we go towards the autumn people will be much, much more confident.”
Mr Johnson said "the big national lockdown" was "the only thing you could do."
But added: “I think we are now moving into a different phase as we go forward into the autumn and to the winter."
New guidance drawn up by the Government and hospitality industry officials will be revealed for July 4 as Britain gets back to "the new normal".
The blueprint for reviving the industry will advise that Brits order booze on apps, rather than at bars, before taking their pints back to spaced-out tables.
Downing Street has said no details for the July 4 package of announcements have been finalised yet.