Boris Johnson tells Brits lockdown easing WILL go ahead on schedule and vows 'in a few days' time, I'll be down the pub'
BORIS Johnson today said lockdown easing will go ahead on schedule and vowed to be back down the pub "in a few days' time".
An upbeat Prime Minister said he can't wait to go to the barbers when hairdressers reopen and sip his first pint in his local on April 12.
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Speaking at the Conservatives’ virtual spring forum on Saturday, Boris said he can see nothing in the data to dissuade him from continuing along his lockdown easing roadmap.
He said: "In just a few days’ time, I’m finally going to be able to go to the barbers.
“But more important than that, I’m going to be able to go down the street and cautiously, but irreversibly, I’m going to drink a pint of beer in the pub.
“And as things stand, I can see absolutely nothing in the data to dissuade me from continuing along our roadmap to freedom, unlocking our economy and getting back to the life we love.”
It comes as:
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- Face masks and social distancing ‘could be in place for TEN years’
- Over-70s to get booster Covid vaccine from SEPTEMBER
- Brides and grooms can’t kiss if they don't live together
Restaurants and pubs in England will be able to serve customers in outdoor seating areas from April 12 in phase two of the lockdown easing.
They will then be given the green light to offer indoor seating from May 17, providing specific Covid conditions are met.
Some Brits desperate for their first pint after lockdown have been struggling to get a beer garden table with hundreds of pubs now fully booked for months.
But the PM remained cheerful throughout his speech this morning and spoke of his excitement as restrictions begin to ease on Monday – when the 'stay at home' message will be ditched.
The PM also said discovering the Kent variant of Covid-19 – also known as B117 – was a huge breakthrough and led to the tiering system of restrictions to be dropped.
He added: “That was an incredibly important moment, because we were then able to work out what was happening, because we could see that B117 was basically transmitting considerably faster.
“With that we were able to understand why the tiering system that had been basically working for much of the autumn just wasn’t going to work anymore.”
He added that the vaccine rollout would not have been possible without the “might of the private sector”.
He said: “Yes, Government played a pretty big role, the Vaccine Task Force, the bottling plants we helped to set up, the scientists we funded, and I renew my thanks and admiration for the incredible work of our NHS, our GPs, our nurses, our health care workers of all kinds.
But more important than that, I’m going to be able to go down the street and cautiously, but irreversibly, I’m going to drink a pint of beer in the pub."
“They’re heroes, heroes, heroes, to say nothing of local council staff and volunteers, and the Army, so many thousands of others."
Mr Johnson was also asked whether the UK can have a bank holiday called “national hangover day” once the pandemic subsides.
In response, he said Chancellor Rishi Sunak “was pretty keen” for people to get back into the office.
He said: “The general view is people have had quite a few days off, and it wouldn’t be a bad thing for people to see their way round to making a passing stab at getting back into the office.”
But the PM conceded that there are still unanswered questions about what impact the third coronavirus wave sweeping Europe would have on the UK.
ROADMAP ON TRACK
Mr Johnson said: “I think the second half of the year will have the potential to be really fantastic.
“But it depends on things still going right.
“We depend on the successful vaccine programme and disease not taking off again.”
He said “bitter experience” has shown a wave like the one in Europe would hit the UK “three weeks later”.
He added: “The question is – is it going to be, this time, as bad it has been in the past?
“Or have we sufficiently mitigated, muffled, blunted impact by the vaccine rollout?
“That’s a question we still don’t really know the answer to.”
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