RECAP: Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirms next stage of lockdown easing from April 12
Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a Downing Street press conference on Easter Monday to detail the next stages of the lockdown roadmap, with a further easing of restrictions due to go ahead on Monday, April 12.
The PM was joined by England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance.
Mr Johnson announced a further easing of lockdown measures from Monday, April 12, which means non-essential retail and personal care premises will be permitted to reopen, alongside outdoor hospitality, zoos and holiday camp sites.
Speaking from Downing Street, the Prime Minister said he would be heading to the pub on April 12 – where he would “cautiously but irreversibly raising a pint of beer to my lips”.
He added: “We think that these changes are fully justified by the data, which shows that we are meeting our four tests for easing the lockdown.
“But – and you know I’m going to say this – we can’t be complacent.”
Scroll down for updates from the press conference and from throughout Monday, April 5.
Live coronavirus updates - Monday, April 5
Last updated: Monday, 05 April, 2021, 17:18
Prime Minister Boris Johnson set to hold Downing Street briefing
Prime Minister Boris Johnson will lead a Downing Street press conference on Monday at 5pm.
He will be joined by England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance.
Everyone will be able to get a Covid test twice a week
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has revealed that from April 9, everyone will have access to two rapid Covid-19 tests a week as part of plans to return the country to normality.
Boris Johnson set to announce further easing of lockdown measures
The next key date in the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown is Monday, April 12 - with the Prime Minister set to confirm reopening dates later today (April 5).
It means that we will see:
The reopening of non-essential retail, hairdressers, nail salons and gyms.
Most outdoor attractions such as zoos and theme parks can resume operating.
Pubs can open beer gardens, providing a boost to the hospitality sector.
Self-contained accommodation, such as campsites and holiday lets, can start to welcome guests again.
Weddings, receptions and funerals can also be attended by up to 15 people.
Plans for a “Covid status certification”
The PM will announce plans for a “Covid status certification” scheme to enable the safe return of mass gathering and indoor events, with a series of trial events to take place over the next few months.
The ‘vaccine passports’ will show if a person has been vaccinated against Covid-19, had a recent negative test, or has “natural immunity” having tested positive in the previous six months.
The first trial 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.
“Traffic light” system for foreign travel
Ministers have made clear that the ban on foreign holidays will remain until 17 May at the earliest.
It is expected that rules will then be replaced with 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, rates of Covid infection, emerging new variants, and the country’s access to reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing.
Travellers returning to the UK from “green” rated countries will not be required to self-isolate, although pre-departure and post-arrival Covid tests will still be needed.
Those returning from counties classed as “amber” or “red” will be required to self-isolate or enter quarantine.
Opposition to vaccine passports
Even if the Prime Minister does sign off on the idea, there is enough disgruntlement to suggest a vote in the House of Commons on their use could result in a Government defeat.
Senior Labour shadow cabinet member Rachel Reeves said her party had “many reservations” about their domestic deployment, while more than 40 Tory MPs have signed a cross-party letter opposing vaccine passports, meaning it could be a tight result.
Creating vaccine passports into law would be a “nightmare”
Danny Altmann, professor of immunology at Imperial College, said legislating for vaccine passports would be a “nightmare”.
He told Times Radio on Monday that while in general they were a good thing if they made people feel a bit safer and more people were vaccinated they needed “enormous scrutiny”.
Asked if vaccination passports will require new laws which could be difficult to word correctly, Prof Altmann added: “I think the detail is an absolute nightmare and, without being pedantic, requires enormous scrutiny.”
A further 15 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospital in England
It brings the total number of confirmed deaths reported in hospitals to 86,422, NHS England said on Monday, April 5.
Patients were aged between 51 and 90 and all had known underlying health conditions.
The deaths occurred between March 21 and April 4, with the majority being on or after April 1.
There were five other deaths reported with no positive Covid-19 test result.
Labour MP expresses worry over vaccine passports
Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said he worried that introducing vaccine passports would make people feel they were being forced into having a jab, and would be “counterproductive”.
The senior Labour MP said: “My concern is that if you want to drive up vaccination rates further – and to be fair, vaccine hesitancy has fallen in this country and we are doing very well.
“But all the evidence has always suggested that if you want to maintain confidence in vaccination, that you don’t make it compulsory, don’t force people to be vaccinated – you encourage people, you persuade people.
“And my worry with what the Government are suggesting is they are effectively trying to force people into taking a vaccine and I think in the end that will be counterproductive.”
Confirmation that we will move to step two of the Government’s roadmap
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed that England will move to step two of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown on Monday, April 12.
Non-essential shops, gyms, personal care venues and outdoor attractions will all reopen from next Monday.
Prime Minister off to the pub on April 12
Boris Johnson has revealed to a Downing Street press conference that he will be off to the pub on Monday, April 12 as he confirms that the roadmap out of lockdown is still on track.
Further easing of lockdown
The Prime Minister said he would be visiting a pub on April 12 as he confirmed the next stage of lockdown easing can go ahead.
Addressing a Downing Street press conference on Monday, Boris Johnson said: “The net result of your efforts and of course the vaccine rollout is that I can today confirm that from Monday April 12, we will move to step two of our road map.
“Reopening shops, gyms, zoos, holiday campsites, personal care services like hairdressers and of course beer gardens and outdoor hospitality of all kinds.
“And on Monday 12, I will be going to the pub myself and cautiously but irreversibly raising a pint of beer to my lips.”
Vaccines for children
Covid vaccines for children are being looked into, Downing Street confirms.
Chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, has revealed that he vaccinating children against Covid-19 is being looked into expects to see vaccine trials among children rolled out in the coming months.
Professor Chris Witty added that the Government wants to be “confident” in the side effects of the vaccines if they are to be rolled out to children.
Public should not be complacent
Boris Johnson said the lockdown changes in England were “fully justified” but urged the public not to be complacent.
The Prime Minister told a Downing Street press briefing: “We think that these changes are fully justified by the data, which shows that we are meeting our four tests for easing the lockdown.
“But – and you know I’m going to say this – we can’t be complacent.
“We can see the waves of sickness afflicting other countries and we’ve seen how this story goes.
“We still don’t know how strong the vaccine shield will be when cases begin to rise, as I’m afraid they will, and that’s why we’re saying please get your vaccine or your second dose when the turn comes.
“And please use the free NHS tests even if you don’t feel ill.”
No deviation expected from roadmap out of lockdown
The Prime Minister said he did not think, based on the current data, that there would be any deviation from his roadmap out of lockdown.
Boris Johnson told a press briefing: “We set out our road map and we’re sticking with it.
“And I want to stress that we see nothing in the present data that makes us think that we will have to deviate from that road map.
“But it is by being cautious, by monitoring the data at every stage and by following the rules – remembering hand, face, space, fresh air – that we hope together to make this road map to freedom irreversible.”