Reports UK could be back to work by July

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is considering a staged exit from COVID-19 lockdown that would see pubs and restaurants reopen in May, and hospitality and domestic holiday industries not fully reopening until July, the Daily Mail reported.

The novel coronavirus, which emerged in China in late 2019, has killed 2.4 million people worldwide, upended normal life for billions and tipped the United Kingdom to its worst slump in 300 years.

Johnson, who will set out the path out of lockdown on Feb. 22, said the exit plan will be cautious but irreversible. The United Kingdom has vaccinated 15.6 million people with a first dose so far.

The Mail said a limited escape from lockdown would begin in April with holiday lets and larger hotels reopening, though pubs, bars and restaurants would have to wait until May. Some sports such as golf and tennis could resume.

Full pub reopening would begin in early June.

“Leisure businesses may not return to ‘broadly normal’ until July under a roadmap out of lockdown,” the Mail reported, though it said the final decision had yet to be made by Johnson.

“Office staff are expected to be told to keep working from home when the prime minister unveils his roadmap,” the Mail said. “The ‘work from home if you can’ message will continue for the foreseeable future.”

The easing of the most stringent peacetime curbs on personal freedoms in modern English history will be accompanied by a mass testing programme. English schools will reopen on March 8. 

Main Photo: A pedestrian walks past a Covid-19 restrictions sign in Soho, London, Britain. EPA-EFE/ANDY RAIN

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