Johnson Confirms Indoor Mixing Allowed in England From May 17

Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed that the next stage of lockdown easing in England will go ahead on May 17 as planned, as the Covid-19 infection rate reaches its lowest level since September.

People will be allowed to stay overnight with friends or relations, and indoor hospitality will be reopened. The government said last week limited international travel will also resume then.

“The data reflects what we already knew; we are not going to let this virus beat us,” Johnson said in a statement released by his office.

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

The U.K. has seen a dramatic fall in coronavirus infections in recent weeks, with the administration of more than 50 million doses of vaccine. Johnson has previously said the government is on course to lift all lockdown rules from June 21.

Cabinet ministers will meet Monday morning to authorize the plans after the government said the latest data suggest easing restrictions is unlikely to risk a resurgence in infections. Johnson will host a news conference late Monday to discuss the measures.

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon told BBC TV on Sunday she was going to use the next two days to work on easing restrictions.

“We have a Covid review on Tuesday where we’ll set out the final decisions for the next easing of restrictions scheduled for the 17th of May,” she said. Scotland and Wales decide on restrictions independently of England.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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