Boris Johnson could start lifting lockdown measures as early as Monday

Prime Minister Boris Johnson makes a statement outside 10 Downing Street. Photograph: Stefan Roussea

Prime Minister Boris Johnson makes a statement outside 10 Downing Street. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

Boris Johnson has hinted he will announce a limited return to pre-pandemic life in an address to the nation on Sunday, with new measures set to come in as early as Monday.

Reports suggest changes could include unlimited exercise, the return of some sports, park picnics, and the opening of pub and cafe gardens - but people would still be required to remain two metres apart.

Bosses who closed their businesses during the pandemic will also be urged to let workers return, which will mostly focus on construction workers, but could include some retail outlets.

The Sun reports that Boris Johnson is happy 'to let off the brake a bit and see what happens', with further relaxations if the new rules can be kept.

A source said: 'We can now let off the brake a bit and see what happens. If people abide by the new rules, we can then let off the brake a little bit more.'


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Primary schools are unlikely to re-open until the end of May, secondary schools at the end of June, pubs and restaurants will have to wait until the end of August, and gyms will be last in the Autumn.

The move could also see the government scrap its 'stay home' slogan, and encourage people to wear face coverings on public transport and in crowded places as some return to work.

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In an indication of the changed approach, Public Health England said it was 'reviewing all communications materials in anticipation of moving to the next phase of the government campaign'.

Conservative election chief Isaac Levido is said to have drawn up a communications plan for 'phase two' of the crisis, which has seen government using the hashtag '#StaySafeSaveLives'.

The moves come as the country hit the highest death toll in Europe after it surpassed Italy earlier this week.

More than 30,000 have died after testing positive for Covid-19 in the UK, and more than 200,000 have caught the virus overall.

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