Boris Johnson Says Social Distancing Might End In November

The prime minister added that remaining restrictions could be lifted "possibly for Christmas"
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Boris Johnson has said social distancing measures could be scrapped in four months.

Speaking in Downing Street on Friday morning, the prime minister said he hoped for a “significant” normality by the middle of November and the the remaining restrictions could be lifted “possibly for Christmas”.

“What we are saying is we hope that by November at the earliest we can continue to make progress in our struggle against the virus,” he said.

“It may conceivably be possible to move away from social distancing measures, from the one metre rule.”

Announcing the next stage of the easing of the coronavirus lockdown, Johnson said he would scrap the advice that people work from home from August 1.

Vallance and England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty took part in a cabinet call on Friday morning to discuss the next stage in the government’s coronavirus recovery plan.

Local authorities in England will have new powers from Saturday to tackle coronavirus outbreaks, including closing specific premises, shutting outdoor spaces and cancelling events, Johnson revealed.

The PM also announced that most remaining leisure centres would be allowed to reopen on the same date.

Indoor performances with live audiences would also be allowed and trials would begin of larger gatherings in places like sports stadiums “with a view to a wider reopening in the autumn”.

But Johnson warned the public to continue to follow the rules while they were in place.

“We can see all too clearly what could go wrong if we don’t continue to follow the guidance,” he said. “There are parts of the world where it’s continuing to spike.”

The government also announced today NHS will get an extra ÂŁ3 billion in funding to prepare for a possible second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

And Johnson used the press conference to commit to a new target of reaching the capacity for 500,000 coronavirus tests a day by November.

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