News World Great Escape? UK to return to work by July, says PM

Great Escape? UK to return to work by July, says PM

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is considering a staged exit from COVID-19 lockdown that would see the United Kingdom’s battered economy fully returning to work in July, the Daily Mail reported, citing government plans.

The novel coronavirus, which emerged in China in late 2019, has killed 2.4 million people worldwide, upended normal life for billions and tipped the United Kingdom to its worst slump in 300 years.

Johnson, who will set out the path out of lockdown on February 22, said the exit plan will be cautious but irreversible. The United Kingdom has vaccinated 15.6 million people with a first dose so far.

The Mail said a limited escape from lockdown would begin in April with holiday lets and larger hotels reopening, though pubs, bars and restaurants would have to wait until May. Some sports such as golf and tennis could resume.

Full pub reopening would begin in early June.

“Leisure businesses may not return to ‘broadly normal’ until July under a roadmap out of lockdown,” the Mail reported, though it said the final decision had yet to be made by Johnson.

“Office staff are expected to be told to keep working from home when the prime minister unveils his roadmap,” the Mail said. “The ‘work from home if you can’ message will continue for the foreseeable future.”

Johnson, who has cautioned people to take newspaper reports on his plans with caution as a final decision is yet to be taken, says he wants to see more data on how the vaccine rollout is affecting severe illness and death.

So far, there is some data from Israel on that, but not enough from the United Kingdom to be absolutely sure of the impact, Chris Whitty, the government’s chief medical adviser said on Monday.

The easing of the most stringent peacetime curbs on personal freedoms in modern English history will be accompanied by a mass testing programme. English schools will reopen on March 8.

(Reuters)

Top Stories

Meghan accuses UK royals of racism, says ‘didn’t want to be alive’

Meghan, the wife of Prince Harry, accused Britain's royal family of raising concerns about how dark their son's skin might be and pushing her...

Swiss agree to outlaw facial coverings in “burqa ban” vote

A far-right proposal to ban facial coverings in Switzerland won a narrow victory in a binding referendum on Sunday instigated by the same group...

Greece’s FM in Nicosia for talks on Cyprus issue

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias will visit Cyprus later on Monday after talks with his Egyptian counterpart in neighbouring Cairo. In Nicosia, Dendias will meet...

Partly cloudy on Monday, with thin dust in the air

Partly cloudy on Monday with thin dust in the air and possible isolated afternoon showers mainly in north-western areas, according to the island’s Met...

One death from covid announced on Sunday, 303 new cases

Health authorities in Cyprus on Sunday announced one death from covid-19 and 303 new cases out of a total of 46,544 tests. The PCR and...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...