Pubs, shops, work and what lockdown rules could be lifted first

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Boris Johnson today suggested that some of the lockdown measures we have all been forced to get used to in the past seven weeks could be lifted from Monday.

The Prime Minister will address the nation on Sunday and is expected to lay out something of a roadmap for what parts of life can start to return to what will be a new form of normal.

At his first Prime Minister's Questions since his recovery from coronavirus and the birth of his son Wilfred, Mr Johnson set out his ambitions.

He confirmed he will be revealing the plan on Sunday and suggested the measures will come in the next day.

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Changes are coming

The UK has been in a state of lockdown since Mr Johnson ordered us all to stay at home in a television address on March 23.

This action was taken to try and stop the spread of coronavirus around the country.

The lockdown has brought the UK economy to its knees, with millions of people not working and many businesses closing down.

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The PM is under pressure to try and start to get the country moving again – especially from members of his own party.

What could change first?

It is thought that small shops and outdoor workplaces would reopen in a first phase in early June, followed by large shopping centres and some offices in a second phase, according to the plan seen by The Times.

Ministers have already made clear that pubs, restaurants, hotels and leisure centres will be among the last to open – and reports suggest they will be in a third and final phase.

But today on Sky News, Health Secretary Matt Hancock suggested that this might be different if businesses can use outdoor spaces.

He said that there is strong evidence that the risk of spreading the virus is much lower when outside – so suggested cafes could potentially open outdoor spaces in the summer.

Draft guidance on how workplaces can return safely has already been circulated to unions and business leaders.

Ministers have also confirmed schools will return in "phases". It's thought this would happen from June 1 at the earliest, with primary schools and especially Year 6 the first to return.

Mr Hancock today would not be drawn on an exact date for schools but said there should be an announcement on this soon.

Despite the plans to start lifting the lockdown, Number 10 Downing Street is keen to warn people that any changes will be small and phased at first.

A spokesman told the daily lobby briefing that: "Everything will not turn to normal at once, people will have to prepare for a different type of normal."

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