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Boris Johnson is set to give market stalls, garden parties and car sales centres the go-ahead from next month in easing of restrictions for outdoor activities
- Prime Minister keen to welcome back a wave of open-air businesses and events
- Government insists evidence is clear infection rate is much less likely outdoors
- Mr Johnson expected to announce proposals in a press conference on Thursday
Market stalls, garden parties and car dealerships are among the next wave of activities set to be given the green light to return as Britain eases out of lockdown.
Boris Johnson is keen to welcome back a selection of open-air businesses and events from next month, with a return for National Trust parks also on the agenda, providing indoor attractions remain shut.
Some non-essential shops could be given the go-ahead to reopen as well, according to The Sun, as the Prime Minister tries to salvage something for families to enjoy this summer.
Garden parties could return as the government insists scientific evidence shows the rate of infection is much less likely outdoors
Some market stalls, such as this one in Salisbury, have operated during the lockdown, with staff wearing protective masks, but more could be allowed to reopen under new plans
Car dealerships such as this centre in Middlesex have been closed over the last two months but may also be coming back soon
A senior Government source told the paper: ‘It is clear from the scientific evidence that the rate of infection is much less likely outdoors. The combination of fresh air and sunshine are bad for the virus but they make it safer for everyone.
‘So we are looking at opening up the outdoors. But all done in slow steps.
‘Social distancing must continue and if there’s the slightest hint of the infection rate rising again, or people hanging around in large groups, the PM will call a halt.’
The proposals are set to be revealed when Mr Johnson hosts the Downing Street press conference on Thursday, after meeting with ministers at a cabinet meeting earlier in the week.
Guidance will be issued to shops and attractions that will resume business in step two of his road map back to ‘near-normal’, starting on June 1.
It comes as sunseekers across the country were treated to their first pint in weeks yesterday as bars at beauty spots and beaches opened up to serve takeaway drinks for the Bank Holiday weekend.
Booze-starved Brits were seen queuing up patiently to get their hands on cold beverages at the Hot Rocks Restaurant and Cocktail Bar on Bournemouth beach, which was packed out with hundreds of sunbathers.
People also took advantage of relaxed social distancing measures in parks and green spaces, with crowds of people meeting up in commons across major cities for a sunny booze up.
Boris Johnson, pictured during this week’s Clap for Carers, is expected to announce the reopening of a wave of outdoor activities and businesses next week
People also took advantage of relaxed social distancing measures in parks and green spaces, with crowds of people meeting up in commons such as Wandsworth yesterday (pictured)
A group of friends enjoy several pints of beer outside Hot Rocks on Bournemouth beach, which was among the busiest beauty spots in the country yesterday
Landlords up and down the UK launched takeaway services today, opening up their businesses for the first time in eight weeks in some cases, to capitalise on the long weekend, in which millions are expected to make leisure trips.
In the Prime Minister’s statement next week, further details will also be outlined on the ‘world-beating’ test, track and trace system which aims to eliminate the virus, The Sun reports.
The plan – to track down those who have been in close contact with Covid-19 victims and isolate them to stop the chain of transmission – will swing into action next week as ‘part of the largest virtual call centre operation in the country’.
Using a model which has proved effective in other countries and which has been trialled with an app on the Isle of Wight, tracers will contact those who test positive for the virus.
They will then ask them for information about people they have been in prolonged contact with who may have been exposed – most likely household members or workplace colleagues.
A No 10 spokesman said: ‘A test-and-trace system lets us identify and isolate new infections so that we can control the spread of this virus, which will be vital while coronavirus remains present in the UK.
‘As we continue on the road to recovery this will mean that, in time, lockdown will no longer be necessary for the majority of the public and instead it will be possible for there to be a targeted lockdown for a small number of people.’
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