The United Kingdom (UK) Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday that Britain’s coronavirus lockdown will be in place until at least June 1, as he unveiled cautious plans to lift restrictions imposed seven weeks ago.
The UK’s coronavirus death toll – 31,855 – is the second-highest in the world, behind only the United States.
“This is not the time simply to end the lockdown this week,” Johnson said in a televised address. “Instead we are taking the first careful steps to modify our measures.”
“You can sit in the sun in your local park, you can drive to other destinations, you can even play sports but only with members of your own household,” he said.
From Monday, those who cannot work from home will be actively encouraged to go to work, he said, and from Wednesday people will be allowed to take unlimited amounts of outdoor exercise as long as they adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Johnson said that at the earliest by June 1, the UK might be in a position to begin the phased reopening of shops and to get primary pupils back into schools, in stages, beginning with the youngest and oldest year groups.
Johnson’s government has faced criticism from opposition parties and others over its handling of the pandemic