BORIS Johnson will give a new start to British lockouts this week – by reopening the great outdoors.
The PM will ease restrictions on outdoor activities in the final step on the way back to normal life.
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Johnson is expected to give the green light for market stalls, car dealerships and garden parties starting next month.
National Trust parks will also be advised that they can open their doors as long as indoor attractions are prohibited.
Even some non-essential stores could be allowed to reopen. Johnson wants to save the summer for families who have been confined for nine weeks.
And he wants to make the campaign accessible again – but in “slow steps”.
A high-level government source said: “There is clear scientific evidence that the infection rate is much less likely outside. The combination of fresh air and sun is bad for the virus, but it makes it safer for everyone.
“So we are planning to open up the outdoors. But everything is done slowly.
“Social distancing must continue and if there is any indication of an increase in the infection rate, or of people hanging out in large groups, the PM will call for a halt. “
The insider cautioned, “We will have to adapt to a new normal, and we must remain alert to the dangers of further spread. “
“SUMMER WAS SAVED”
PM will update ministers on Monday with a cabinet meeting on precisely which areas will be released first.
He will hold the Downing Street press conference on Thursday to announce that summer has been saved.
The source said, “The PM has spent a lot of time lately focusing on controlling the machine.
“There were things he was not happy with, so for the past few weeks he’s been under the hood, making sure everything is well oiled and ready to work properly. “
Advice will be given to stores and attractions that resume operations in step two of its roadmap to return to “almost normal”, effective June 1.
TRACK AND TRACK ON THE TRACK
Johnson will also release details of his new “global” testing, tracking and tracing system to defeat the coronavirus in a “mole” assault.
It will require that more tests be done so that infected people can be isolated.
The government has recruited an army of contact tracers that will soon be mobile.
The team will contact those who test positive and find out who they have been in contact with so that they too can be tested.
Johnson will provide details this week on how to get the system working. But Chancellor Rishi Sunak expressed frustration at the pace of the unlocking.
He is increasingly concerned about the damage caused by the lack of economic activity and the cost of work on leave.
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Sunak suggested to Conservative MPs in a conference call that the Prime Minister was too cautious, saying, “Either way, Greece and Italy are opening up. This country cannot be the only place where people cannot go for a drink at the pub. “
But it is unlikely that Johnson will give the green light to pubs and restaurants this week.
He plans to let the outdoor cafes resume operations with strict limits on space and the number of tables. But he resisted calls to reopen department stores.
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