Prime Minster to confirm further easing of coronavirus restrictions on May 17

·2-min read

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to confirm the next stage of lockdown easing in England will go ahead as planned, with measures to take effect in a week’s time.

Step three of the road map out of lockdown is expected to begin from May 17 after the Government said the latest data confirms its four tests for easing Covid-19 restrictions have been met.

Ministers will hold a meeting on Monday morning to agree the next set of measures, which could see the rule of six or a group of up to two households allowed indoors.

The Government said the latest data suggests easing restrictions from May 17 is unlikely to risk a resurgence in infections.

Mr Johnson is set to host a press conference on Monday afternoon to confirm the further easing of restrictions.

He said: “The data reflects what we already knew – we are not going to let this virus beat us.

“The road map remains on track, our successful vaccination programme continues – more than two-thirds of adults in the UK have now had the first vaccine – and we can now look forward to unlocking cautiously but irreversibly.

“It’s because of the British public’s unwavering commitment that we are saving lives, protecting the NHS and controlling the virus.”

It comes after Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said the Government wants to see “intimate contact” between family and friends “restored” from May 17.

Speaking on BBC’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, Mr Gove said: “As we move into stage three of our road map it will be the case that we will see people capable of meeting indoors.

“And without prejudice to a broader review of social distancing, it is also the case that friendly contact, intimate contact, between friends and family is something we want to see restored.”

More than 50 million vaccine doses have been administered in the UK as the Government said it is on track to offer all adults a first dose by the end of July.

Some 35.2 million people have now received at least one dose and 17.2 million people have received both doses.

The Government said infection rates are at the lowest level since September and hospital admissions and patients continue to decrease, or plateau at low levels in some areas, with levels similar to July last year.