Lockdown plan could reopen shops 'in weeks' with self-catered holidays by Easter


Lockdown-weary Brits can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel with Boris Johnson set to lay out plans to ease Covid rules a week from now.

The vaccine programme also goes from strength to strength, with 15m now given the jab and the over-65s being inoculated.

And the roadmap to release lockdown measures could allow for self-catered breaks as early as Easter, with the reopening of High Street shops in just weeks, reports say.

The return of non-essential retail, some socialising with other households and the reopening of pubs are all likely to feature in the plan unveiled on February 22.

None will come before the Government’s top priority of reopening schools, which looks likely to be on March 8.

It is also being reported that grandparents could get the green light to see grandchildren again outdoors, when provisions to allow limited socialising between households return.



Shoppers, some wearing face masks, walk along a busy Oxford Street in London on December 5
Shoppers could again return to the high street after shops were shut during lockdown

England went into its third national lockdown at the beginning of last month.

Under the measures aimed at tackling the spread of coronavirus high street shops and pubs remain closed with holidays effectively banned with people told to stay at home.

The Times reports that ministers are said to be examining plans that would allow people to take breaks as early as the Easter holidays.

The paper reports that under one timeline being considered, families who live in the same household could be free to take breaks together from April.

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A government source told the paper: “There’s an active discussion about how soon we can do it and we’ll be guided by the data.

“There’s talk of April at the earliest, but a lot of things have to go right. It’s unlikely but it is being talked about as a possibility.”

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail reports that shops on the high street could be about to re-open if the rate of infection continues to fall.



Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks at a virtual press conference to give an update on the Covid-19 pandemic
Ministers are said to be examining options for lifting lockdown restrictions

The paper said that a source expected it to happen “towards the end of March, or the beginning of April at the latest”.

More than 15 million people have now been vaccinated against Covid.

On Friday, NHS England announced people aged 65 to 69 will begin being invited to have their first doses of the vaccination from this week, with over one million letters having been sent.

The latest figures for coronavirus shows that deaths in the UK have increased by 258 and the number of cases has risen by 10,972.

It show a decrease in the death toll and infections compared to last Sunday when the UK’s official coronavirus death toll rose by 373 with a total of 15,845 new infections.

The first wave of passengers needing to be taken to quarantine hotels on touching down in the UK will arrive on Monday, and begin isolating for 10 days.





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