Boris Johnson: Groups of six can meet as lockdown restrictions eased in England from Monday

The coronavirus lockdown will be eased in England on Monday, Boris Johnson has said.

Addressing the daily Downing Street press conference, the prime minister said that the government’s five tests for easing lockdown have now been met.

He said: “We can move forward with adjusting the lockdown in England on Monday.”

Groups of six people from different households will be now able to meet outdoors, including in private gardens, as long as they maintain social distancing.

Schools will partially reopen and some non-essential shops will start trading.

Boris Johnson announced that the lockdown will be eased at the daily Downing Street briefing (Parliament.TV)
Boris Johnson announced that the lockdown will be eased at the daily Downing Street briefing (Parliament.TV)

The PM said the changes would be limited.

He said: “I cannot and will not throw away all the gains we’ve made together and so the changes we’re making are limited and cautious.

“It’s thanks to the caution you’ve shown so far that all five met are being met.

“The result is that we can move forward with adjusting the lockdown in England on Monday.”

He warned that the government would “put on the brakes” if infections begin to increase again.

Scotland to start steps out of lockdown from Friday, says Nicola Sturgeon

Earlier on Thursday, Nicola Sturgeon announced that the first “cautious” steps out of the lockdown would begin in Scotland on Friday.

People will now be allowed sunbathe in parks and play some outdoor sports, bringing the rules in line with England, where restrictions were eased slightly earlier in May.

Scots will also be allowed to meet people from other households outdoors in parks and gardens – though people are advised to keep any gatherings to a maximum of eight people.

Ahead of the PM’s announcement, a Downing Street spokesperson said he had consulted with the leaders of the devolved nations.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon speaks during First Minster's Questions (FMQ's) on coronavirus in the debating chamber of the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.
Nicola Sturgeon announced lockdown restrictions will ease in Scotland from Friday. (PA)

The spokesperson said: “The PM made clear that as we begin to move to the next phase of tackling this virus, he remains determined to work closely with the devolved administrations.

“This continues to be a UK-wide approach, even though we may travel at slightly different speeds based on the scientific evidence.

“He also stressed the importance of particularly close engagement on programmes that must be UK-wide to be most effective. This includes contact tracing, where coordinated systems across the UK will be critical to the next phase of our efforts.

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