May 17. 2021. 4:53

The Daily

Read the World Today

UK on course to ditch social distancing rule in June, Johnson says

Boris Johnson: ‘We do want to do some opening up on May the 17th, but I don’t think that the people of this country want to see an influx of disease from anywhere else.’ Photograph: Lindsey Parnaby/WPA Pool/Getty


Britain is on course to ditch the Covid-19 social distancing rule requiring people to stay at least one metre apart towards the end of next month, prime minister Boris Johnson said on Monday.

Mr Johnson’s government has set out a roadmap to end lockdown restrictions in stages as widespread vaccinations help to suppress infections.

June 21st has been set as a date when social distancing could end.

Asked about that possibility during a visit in northern England, Mr Johnson said: “I think we’ve got a good chance, a good chance, of being able to dispense with one-metre plus.”

The one-metre plus rule means people need to stay at least that distance apart and take other mitigating measures to prevent the spread of infections. It has been heavily criticised by the hospitality industry.

According to government data, 49.8 million vaccine doses have been administered in the UK, with 35.5 million of those being first doses.

The next stage of the government’s unlocking plans is May 17th, when restrictions on foreign travel are expected to be eased, but not lifted.

Mr Johnson struck a cautious tone ahead of that deadline. “We do want to do some opening up on May the 17th, but I don’t think that the people of this country want to see an influx of disease from anywhere else. I certainly don’t. We’ve got to be very, very tough, and we’ve got to be as cautious as we can.” – Reuters