COVID-19: Hugs set to return from May 17 as PM expected to outline next step in easing lockdown

COVID-19: Hugs set to return from May 17 as PM expected to outline next step in easing lockdown

Boris Johnson is set to announce that the next step in lifting the lockdown will proceed as planned on May 17, a minister said.

Michael Gove told Sky News on Prime Minister will give the green light tomorrow, clearing the way for people to meet inside and for inner hospitality to resume in just over a week.

Mr Gove told Sophy Ridge on Sunday: ‘Thanks to the success of the UK vaccination program and also to the common sense of people across the UK we can gradually relax the measures.

“I anticipate that tomorrow the Prime Minister will signal that we can enter the next stage of detente in England on May 17th and as the Transport Secretary indicated yesterday that also means that some of the rules on international travel are also in effect. changing. “

He later told the BBC’s Andrew Marr that the next step in easing the lockdown would mean people could kiss again.

He said: “Friendly contact, intimate contact, between friends and family is something we want to see restored. “

When asked if that meant cuddling would be allowed again starting May 17th, he replied, “Yes”.

According to the Prime Minister roadmap to facilitate lockdownMay 17 could also see the end of the ban on international travel.

The lockdown is expected to be further relaxed on May 17

A traffic light system which ranks countries based on the number of coronavirus cases and the progress of their vaccination campaigns will go into effect instead.

Under the rules, green countries are allowed to travel without quarantine as long as a COVID tests are carried out before and after the trip.

Turkey, who are due to host the Champions League final in Istanbul on May 29, are on the redlist – making it virtually impossible for British football fans who wanted to see the Manchester City-Chelsea clash go.

Mr Gove said there were “delicate negotiations” going on regarding Champions League final.

Asked if the match was to take place in the UK, rather than Turkey, Mr Gove said: “My son is a Chelsea fan and he would very much like to see the game played in the UK.

“But there are delicate negotiations that are underway at the moment.

“My friend, my colleague Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, is telling people about it right now so I don’t want to cut that, but I’m sure the fans in the UK would love to see the final. played here in the UK. “

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps had previously said the UK was ready to host the game, but stressed that it was a decision by the governing body of European football.

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UK ‘ready to host’ UEFA final

Separately, Nadhim Zahawi said the government was considering whether major events in the UK would require the use of so-called vaccine passports.

From May 17, major events and sporting encounters will be able to resume with a reduced capacity of spectators.

The vaccine minister, who previously called the concept ‘discriminatory’, told BBC Breakfast: ‘We are exploring through the various pilot projects that we are running, certainly for mass events which might prove more difficult for us. to open, say, Wembley Stadium for the FA Cup semi-final or the final.

“If you want to achieve 100% seating capacity at Wembley, you have to look at all of these technologies that are available to you and I think it’s fair and responsible for any government to explore that.

“Michael Gove is reviewing the way we would do it – there are some very important issues that people will clearly be concerned about, including issues of discrimination and we cannot be discriminatory in any way on that. ”


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