BORIS JOHNSON is set to unveil his plans on the lifting of remaining coronavirus lockdown restrictions this week.
England’s fourth and final stage in the roadmap back to normality is due to commence from June 21 at the earliest. The step will see most legal restrictions lifted as the UK returns to a semblance of normality.
Crucial reviews on whether social distancing and mask-wearing should remain beyond next month, as well as whether limits on numbers at weddings can be lifted, are set to be published this week.
The decisions are separate to the four-stage roadmap with the Cabinet Office carrying out an investigation on their necessity in recent weeks.
Relaxing the “one metre plus” rule and mask-wearing are seen as key parts of the return to normal, with the hospitality industry warning lower numbers in bars and restaurants due to the restrictions are taking their toll on businesses.
The commencement to Stage Four without the ending of compulsory social distancing would deal a significant blow to those hoping to put Covid firmly behind them this summer.
A fortnight ago the Prime Minister vowed to unveil the reviews by the end of this month.
Downing Street backtracked on the pledge last week following concern about the Indian variant of the virus spreading through the UK.
Officials warned they needed more time to assess the risk posed by the mutant strain.
Ministers have repeatedly warned any new variants which are vaccine resistant could throw the roadmap off course.
Speaking about the timing of the review, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said last week: “We can’t be definitive at this point because of this variant that has been identified.
“We need to get as much data in so that we can, if at all possible, take the next step.”