Lockdown lifting ‘Ask me Anything’: The Independent’s Samuel Lovett will answer your questions live

England will take its next tentative step out of lockdown next week, with indoor hospitality and household mixing set to return from Monday.

Aided by one of the fastest vaccine rollouts in the world, Britain’s daily case and death numbers have dropped sharply, with just two fatalities reported on Sunday.

As a result, “it does look as if the roadmap is on course,” said junior minister Nadine Dorries, meaning that people will be able to return to restaurants, pubs, cinemas and other indoor hospital venues – though social distancing restrictions will still remain in place.

People should also be able to meet in groups of up to 30 outdoors, while six people or two households can meet indoors. The government is also expected to say whether the rules around social distancing with friends and family can ease, prompting headlines about “cautious hugging”.

Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove has said No 10 wants to see “friendly contact” between people restored.

Prime minister Boris Johnson will hold a press conference later on Monday about how the country will move into the next phase of reopening from lockdown

However, Ms Dorries, the minister for mental health, said the government needed to be careful that society did not reopen too quickly however because coronavirus variants have been circulating at a low level in the population.

As The Independent’s science correspondent, I’ve been covering Covid-19 at length since the beginning of the pandemic. I’ll be on hand to answer any questions that you – our readers – have about the government’s latest announcement, the progression of Britain’s epidemic and what risk the new variants pose.

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All you have to do is register to submit your question in the comments below. If you’re not already a member, click “sign up” in the comments box to leave your question.

Don’t worry if you can’t see your question – they will be hidden until I join the conversation to answer them. Join me live on this page at 3.30pm on Tuesday as I try to answer your questions.



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