Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to set new lockdown easing measures for the UK, including plans to resume holidays and mass gatherings.
Mr Johnson said the country can look forward to brighter days after a very difficult year, with the Easter holidays bringing new optimism for the weeks and months to come.
Here’s what the PM has to announce in a travel and indoor events update, and what to expect.
When will Boris Johnsons’ next announcement take place?
The Prime Minister will make a series of announcements on the lockdown changes during a Downing Street briefing on Easter Monday (April 5).
What will be announced?
Mr Johnson is expected to outline the next steps in the lockdown in England, focusing on the lockdown, travel and Covid passports.
The PM will announce plans for a Covid Status Certification program to enable the safe return of mass gatherings and indoor events, with a series of test events taking place over the next few months.
Vaccine passports will show whether a person has been vaccinated against Covid-19, had a recent negative test, or has natural immunity after testing positive in the previous six months.
The first try is due to take place on April 16 at the Hot Water Comedy Club in Liverpool, followed two days later by the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on April 18.
The program will also be tested at the World Snooker Championship at the Crucible Theater in Sheffield, which runs from April 17 to May 3, and a mass participation at Hatfield House on April 24 and 25.
The drivers will culminate with the FA Cup final, still at Wembley, on May 15.
Officials are working with clinical and ethical experts to ensure that there are appropriate exemptions for people for whom the vaccine is advised and for whom it would be difficult to repeat testing.
The NHS is also currently working on ways to provide people with the means to demonstrate their Covid status via digital and non-digital routes.
The review examines how ventilation and entrance testing could facilitate the safe return of the public to mass events and closed venues.
The ministers believe that the program will be very useful in managing risks where there are a large number of people nearby, such as music festivals, sports matches and nightclubs.
The certification will not apply to businesses scheduled to reopen in the coming weeks, including non-essential pubs, restaurants and shops, as well as public transportation.
Another review of social distancing is also examining ways to enable closer contact between friends and families, enabling greater capacity of public transport and reducing distance requirements within workplaces and workplaces.
What about travel?
The prime minister will also present the government’s plans to ease restrictions on overseas travel, ahead of his global task force report on April 12.
The ministers clarified that the ban on holidays abroad will remain until May 17 at the earliest.
It is expected that the rules will then be replaced by a risk-based traffic light system, with countries to be rated as red, amber or green.
This rating will be based on a range of factors, including the proportion of the population that has been vaccinated, Covid infection rates, new emerging variants, and the country’s access to reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing.
Travelers returning to the UK from green listed countries will not be required to self-isolate, although pre-arrival and post-arrival Covid testing is still required.
Those returning from counties classified as orange or red will have to self-isolate or go into quarantine.
Officials said it is still too early to predict which countries will be on which list and continue to advise against booking summer vacations abroad.
Changes from April 12
In addition to the Covid certification program and overseas travel plans, Mr Johnson is also expected to announce further changes to ensure the lockdown measures due on April 12 are on track.
This means that the following will open from that date:
- Non-essential retail
- Personal care facilities, such as hairdressers and nail salons
- Public buildings, including libraries and community centers
- Indoor leisure facilities, such as gymnasiums (but only for use by individuals or family groups)
- Most outdoor attractions, including zoos, theme parks, and drive-in theaters
- Outdoor hospitality, including pub beer gardens
- Self-contained accommodation, such as campsites and vacation rentals, where indoor facilities are not shared with other households
The number of people who can attend weddings, receptions and funerals will also increase to 15.
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