Boris Johnson to finalise lockdown roadmap this weekend before big Monday reveal – as Wales unlocks from Monday

BORIS Johnson will finalise his lockdown roadmap this weekend before revealing it to the nation on Monday.

The PM will update the nation next week on how he will unlock England, as Wales and Scotland starts sending some kids back to school from Monday.

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Both Wales and Scotland are slightly further ahead of England as they went into lockdown earlier – meaning they are set to reopen some things sooner.

The PM will spend the next few days making the final calls about when certain bits of the economy will reopen.

It's expected he will make a statement to the House of Commons on Monday, followed by a press conference and perhaps even a telly address to the nation.

The PM has been getting the latest data in this week which will inform how he lifts the lockdown.

And he will only sign off a final version with his Cabinet on Monday morning.

Downing Street have sought to dampen any speculation about what will be in next week's roadmap.

It's also not yet clear whether it will be a detailed report featuring a range of reopening dates, or the PM will keep it deliberately vague in case the data changes.

But the rollout of the vaccine is going well, with the latest information suggesting it will stop some transmission, means the PM is likely to be able set out a clearer plan than before.

It came as:

  • Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has received his first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine
  • Foreign Office minister James Cleverly slapped down Macron's demands for all countries to divert doses of vaccines to other countries now – saying it was a form of "diplomatic leverage"
  • Boris Johnson will call for all countries to club together and donate to an international vaccine alliance when he chairs the G7 virtually today
  • The PM and Joe Biden will meet virtually for the first time since his election

Schools are expected to be allowed to return for some pupils from March 8 – but it's not yet clear if it will be all kids or just select year groups.

Then more outdoor exercise is expected to be allowed, and it's possible the 'stay at home' order may be lifted.

A few weeks later non-essential shops are expected to be allowed to open, with Brits expected to be allowed to get haircuts again.

Hospitality is expected to be the last thing to be allowed to reopen – with pubs and restaurants set to have to wait.

Indoor mixing – which would allow Brits to see friends and family again – is also expected to be a few months away at least.

There's no end in sight for social distancing restrictions either, meaning it may be a long time before people can finally hug friends and family as they did before the pandemic.

 

Meanwhile, Welsh leader Mark Drakeford is expected to reveal more of his plans for easing lockdown later today.

Stay-at-home restrictions in Wales could be eased in three weeks.

He set out the "cautious" timetable for rolling back restrictions in a move that will further add to calls from Tory MPs for Boris Johnson to speed up the easing of curbs in England.

He announced kids between three and seven will return to school from Monday, with all other primary years plus secondary students in exam years set to return on March 15.

Schools in England aren't due to go back until March 8.

Mr Drakeford revealed Cardiff is locked in talks with retailers and contact professions like hairdressers about a possible reopening of their businesses in the middle of next month too.

He said: “I'll be confirming today that children aged between three and seven will be back in school in Wales as of Monday next week.

"In three weeks' time, provided all goes well, our aim will be to have all primary age children and examination age students in secondary school back in the classroom as well from the 15th of March."

How Wales will unlock

  • Wales will start to unlock from February 22, when school children aged 3-7 return to the classroom.
  • The number of people who are allowed to exercise together outside will also double from two to four, although work outs will have to remain local.
  • The stay at home message is set to be dropped on March 15 when other primary schoolchildren, and those secondary pupils in exam years, will also go back.
  • On the same day non-essential shops and contact services like hairdressers are expected to reopen on a limited basis.
  • Self-contained holiday lets, including B&Bs and hotels with room services, will be allowed to welcome back holidaymakers from the start of April if case numbers stay low.
  • There are plans to reopen training opportunities for elite athletes, and to allow licensed wedding venues to resume small services.
  • Welsh ministers are also working over plans to ease strict rules around care home visits.
  • But they've warned gyms and indoor leisure centres aren't due to reopen any time soon, although outdoor exercise classes could return sooner.

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