Johnson announces roadmap for easing in England

England wants to soften the corona measures โ€œcautiouslyโ€. Prime Minister Boris Johnson made that announcement on Twitter today. Tonight, he will present a roadmap with more details.

It is clear that reopening schools is the top priority. That will be the case from 8 March. Then people in the open air can also meet together with the two of us again, told Minister of Vaccinations Nadhim Zahawi to the BBC.

Also, from 8 March residents of nursing homes may receive one visitor again and hold hands with it.

From March 29th, additional simplifications will follow. People are allowed to come together in the open air with six or two households. It is also possible to play sports outside as a team and people can travel outside their region.

Next, the idea is that society opens up a little more every five weeks. This depends on four conditions: the vaccination programme runs as planned, the figures show that vaccinations reduce death and hospitalization, the infection rates are such that there is no risk of flooding the care and new virus variants should not be allowed to may cause increased risk.

With the announcement, Johnson offers perspective for the first time in months, says correspondent Tim de Wit: โ€œWe come from a very strict lockdown, things are going well on many points, but at the same time Johnson indicates that easing will only come in small steps. There is also the risk of new mutations.โ€

In the United Kingdom, one third of adults have already been vaccinated. Johnson remains cautious, nonetheless. De Wit: โ€œThe current lockdown should be the last time a lockdown is needed, says Johnson. This can also be a lesson for the Netherlands: even if many people have already been vaccinated, it will take months before society can reopen.โ€

Countries determine their own measures

Johnson is Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, but the other countries in the UK – Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – can take their own corona measures. Today, in Scotland, the youngest primary school pupils are returning to school.

Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon is expected to publish a roadmap sometime in the next few days. She warned her people not to book a holiday at Easter, writes the BBC.

Wales intends to end the strictest lockdown measures within three weeks and hopes to open non-essential shops and hairdressers. Northern Ireland looks at the earliest on 18 March when the current measures can be relaxed.