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“LIMITED” and “cautious” changes to lockdown measures will take effect from Monday to allow up to six people to meet outdoors in England, Boris Johnson announced today.
But members of different households still need to stay two metres apart, while being allowed in each others’ gardens and other private outdoor spaces.
Mr Johnson said that mixing with several different households in quick succession should be avoided, and that people should not be inside other people’s homes unless it is to access the garden.
Outdoor retail and car showrooms will also allowed to be reopen, and other non-essential retail will follow a fortnight later on June 15 – providing five tests are still being met and shops are “Covid-secure.”
Despite protests from teachers and opposition parties, schools will also be reopening from Monday for some pupils, Mr Johnson added.
He said children in nurseries, reception, year 1 and year 6 will be first to go back to school.
A fortnight later on June 15, secondary schools and sixth-form colleges will reopen for years 10 and 12.
The Prime Minister revealed the changes at the daily Downing Street press conference as the daily changes to the rate of new coronavirus cases and deaths were announced.
A total of 1,887 people tested positive for Covid-19, taking the total of positive tests to 269,127, and there were another 377 coronavirus-linked deaths, taking the total to 37,837.
Mr Johnson warned that measures would be re-imposed in certain areas if necessary for local outbreaks.
The government’s chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, said that the R number – the rate of infection – remained close to 1 and appeared to not be coming down fast.
R was currently somewhere between 0.7 and 0.9, he said, and it could be much closer to 1 in some areas.
Mr Vallance said that the number of new infections was estimated to be roughly 1 in 1,000 per week.
This means that 54,000 new cases are estimated to be occurring every week – which he said is not a low number.
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