Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed MPs earlier today announcing the latest changes to the guidelines regarding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Johnson outlined a further easing of lockdown conditions, introducing more relaxed rules to be put in place regarding social distancing and the reopening of parts of the economy – with the changes set to take effect from Saturday 4th July.
He will expand further on the changes later today when he holds the daily press briefing at 5pm – if you missed his earlier update here’s everything you need to know about how to tune into the speech and what he said today.
What time was Boris Johnson’s speech today?
The Prime Minister made a statement to MPs about the next phase of easing the lockdown at 12:30pm.
At 5pm this afternoon, he hold the UK government daily press conference where he will further outline the new changes.
How to watch Boris Johnson’s speech
As usual the daily briefing at 5pm will be broadcast live on BBC One and on the BBC News website. We’ve recapped what he said at 12.30pm if you missed it below.
What did Boris Johnson say in today’s announcement?
Johnson announced that the 2m rule will be relaxed, instead recommending that people should distance by 1m from 4th July. However, he added that where possible people should still aim to keep 2m apart.
He also outlined the reopening of parts of the economy, with cinemas, museums and galleries open from 4th July, while restaurants and pubs will also be allowed to begin opening their doors again.
Further changes include that two households can now meet, people can stay overnight in self contained accommodation and campsites as long as shared facilities are kept clean and places of worship can reopen for prayer and services including weddings with maximum of 30 people social distancing.
Meanwhile, police and other public services will “increasingly resume face to face proceedings”, childcare will restart over the summer and primary school will start in September will full attendance.
Further guidelines for every sector reopening will be published soon.
Johnson said that lockdown had seen the “toughest restrictions in peace time history” and warned that the “virus has not gone away, we will continue to monitor the data”.
He added that “there will be flare-ups of which local measures will be needed” but claimed that the “long national hibernation is coming to an end” and that there was “cautious optimism” going forward.
The changes follow the announcement of the lowest number of coronavirus deaths since 15th March yesterday – with just 15 reported, although there is often a dip on Mondays due to delays to reporting.
When did lockdown start?
If it feels like we’ve been living under lockdown conditions for a long time, that’s because we have. It’s three months to the day since Boris Johnson first addressed the country to impose lockdown on the 23rd March.
In the initial announcement the Prime Minister said that the lockdown would last for a minimum three weeks, but in reality it has taken far longer, though some restrictions have been lifted in the time since.
When was lockdown last reviewed?
The last review prior to this one took place on 28th May, and saw the Prime Minister bring in some new rules in the following days, which made it easier for people to leave their homes and allowed for increased exercise outdoors.
The new review comes in light of the change in the COVID-19 alert system, which was brought down from level 4 to level 3, meaning that the virus is now “in general circulation”as opposed to “high or rising exponentially” as was the case before.
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