British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to lay out his roadmap for the easing of lockdown in England.
Bars, restaurants, gyms, schools, hair salons and all non-essential shops were closed in England on January 5 as part of the country”s third lockdown to curb the spread of COVID infections.
Johnson will share his finalised plan with ministers, before unveiling it to Parliament and to the public at a news conference on Monday.
Rules are expected to be lifted in stages, with the first phase including the reopening of schools from March 8. Nursing home residents will likely be able to have one visitor from the same date.
The reopening of of non-essential shopping and hospitality venues is unlikely before April. The government will assess the impact of each stage on the infection rate before making further changes.
Mr Johnson insists this time he will follow “”data, not dates” after his government was accused of reopening the country too quickly after the first lockdown in the spring.
But he is under pressure from some of his own MPs, who are pushing for a quicker end to lockdown to revive the economy.
Mr Johnson says the government is taking a “cautious” approach and each stage will depend on the continuing success of the vaccine rollout.
The government declared on Sunday that every adult in the country would be offered their first jab by the end of July, at least a month earlier than its previous target.
The UK has been recording on average 11,000 daily cases of COVID-19. The country has recorded a total of more than four million cases and over 120,000 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.