PM ‘thrilled’ to be able to play tennis while Sir Keir opts for five-a-side

·2-min read

Boris Johnson will head to the tennis courts as lockdown restrictions ease in England, while Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has opted for five-a-side football.

The Prime Minister told a Downing Street press conference on Monday he was “thrilled” by the prospect of being able to play tennis again as outdoor sports events resume.

It comes as Sir Keir told reporters earlier in the day that he was looking forward to being able to “shout and scream” on the football pitch once again.

Groups of up to six, or two households, are now able to socialise in parks, while outdoor sports facilities have been given the green light to reopen after the Government’s stay-at-home order ended on Monday.

Stressing the benefits of exercise to build the UK’s “resilience” to Covid-19, Mr Johnson said: “I am personally thrilled that I will be able to play tennis, for instance.

“Without being remotely preachy, I do hope that we can take advantage of this moment and the beautiful weather to play sport, to take exercise, to have fun and build our national resilience in that way too.”

Football and cricket pitches, tennis and basketball courts, outdoor swimming pools, golf courses and sailing clubs are now free to reopen after months of being shuttered.

Sir Keir Starmer visit to Walsall football club
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Organised team sports can also resume outdoors, meaning grassroots competitions can take place ahead of the Easter break without the need for social distancing.

Sir Keir said he was planning to play football on Monday evening after months of being unable to do so under lockdown.

He said: “I’m very much looking forward, this evening, to playing my first game of five-a-side for some time.

“So I will be out there, on the pitch, enjoying the fact that today I can shout and scream and go around the football pitch and have that game of five-a-side.”

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