Britain: New easing of lockdown from Monday - Uncertain date for international leisure travel

What Boris Johnson said about the ban on leisure travel

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The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom confirmed in a press conference from Downing Street that the improved epidemiological picture in the United Kingdom "justifies" the implementation of the next step of the roadmap to exit the lockdown on April 12.

He appeared, however, much more cautious about when leisure travel abroad would be allowed again for the British, although he kept it as a time target of 17 May.

He also confirmed the "Covid Status Certification" pilot program, which will provide citizens with a negative diagnostic test access to nine arts and sporting events from mid-April to mid-May in Liverpool, London and Sheffield. and Hatfield.

The further easing of lockdown restrictions next Monday provides for the opening of retail, overseas restaurants, hair salons, gyms, zoos and other outdoor businesses.

Justifying the new relaxation, Professor Chris Whitey, chief physician for England, said that with a dose of both Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines, the incidence of Covid symptomatic mild disease over the age of 80 is estimated to have been reduced by 60% and hospitalizations due to serious illness by 80%.

"We do not see anything in the data at the moment that leads us to believe that we will deviate from the roadmap, but we must act with caution," he said, referring to further easing of restrictions scheduled every five weeks until the end of June. .

In this context, Mr. Johnson said that the Government hopes to be able to allow international leisure travel from May 17, but noted that he can not be sure about that. As he commented, he does not want to anticipate the epidemiological situation that will exist in other countries, referring to the current outbreak of cases in some European countries.

Regarding the "Covid state certificates", the British Government published its reasoning stating that "they could play an important role, both domestically and internationally, as a temporary measure". It is noted that the public consultation on the measure will continue.

Boris Johnson said spectators at the pilot events would be asked for a negative test certificate, but stressed that "there is no way" citizens would be asked to provide such a certificate to visit shops, pubs or hair salons from next Monday. . He also said that negative test or vaccination certificates are not planned to be required even with the next step of easing the restrictions on May 17, when the restaurants will be fully open.

The British Prime Minister finally confirmed that from the end of the week free adult self-diagnostic coronavirus tests will be available to all adult citizens.

Meanwhile, British government science advisers have warned that despite advances in vaccinations, some measures such as social distances and masks could remain in place for some time after June 21, a date on which the government hopes to remove any restrictions.