NON-essential shops may not re-open until late April in the third stage of Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown, it has been reported.
The Prime Minister has drawn up a four-step plan to help ease Britain back to normal life, with the nation expected to move as one.
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Shoppers may be able to visit non-essential shops towards the end of AprilCredit: PA:Press Association
He will reveal dates to pencil in diaries tomorrow for the return of much-missed activities before all restrictions are lifted in a final leap.
Mr Johnson will outline a series of steps starting on March 8, when all schools will reopen and people will be able to sit down for a drink outside with their household, or with one friend or relative.
The rules, to be laid out during a press conference at 7pm tomorrow, will be relaxed further on March 29, allowing either six people or two households to meet outside.
It will only be towards the end of April – in the third stage of the plan – that non-essential retail will open, The Times reports.
As it stands, only essential retail such as supermarkets and pharmacies are allowed to serve customers.
Pubs and restaurants are not expected to open before May, while large outdoor events such as football matches and music festivals are expected towards the end of that month.
There will be four steps, possibly five, each with dates and details about what businesses can reopen and which activities will be allowed.
Mr Johnson is said to be keen to turn his steps into strides before summer — or sooner.
And decisions will be dependent on the continued fall in death and infection rates.
A Whitehall source told The Sun: “There will be four steps, possibly five, each with dates and details about what businesses can reopen and which activities will be allowed.”
A senior government source added: “There will be no more tiers. We’ll be taking these steps as one nation.
“No region will be left behind this time. We’re in this together and shall leave together.”
‘SUMMER WILL BE TOO LATE’
It is feared, however, that the roadmap will have too many speed restrictions for thousands of pubs, cafes and restaurants.
Mr Johnson looks set to delay full reopening until May. Bosses fear partial reopening — with outdoor seating — will not save them.
One in five only have enough cash to make it to the end of March. About a million hospitality workers on furlough are most at risk of the axe if the reopening comes too late.
And seasonal workers will be waiting anxiously as up to 200,000 jobs are created ahead of Easter in caravan parks, hotels and holiday camps.
Kate Nicholls, of UK Hospitality, said: “We need to be in the first phase of re-opening. Summer will be too late for many businesses.”
It comes as Boris Johnson last night vowed to offer every adult in Britain a jab against Covid-19 by the end of July.
By last night, 17,247,442 had been vaccinated — including two-thirds of the 65 to 69 age group who only received their invitation letters last week — thanks to hard-working NHS staff.
Mr Johnson now plans to speed up jabs for over-50s, with a completion target of April 15.
It means 98 per cent of those most likely to die, or be hospitalised, will be protected by then.
He will also stand by his pledge to offer a second dose within 12 weeks of the first.