He is expected to speak at 5pm this afternoon from the Government’s new £2.6 million press room (Picture: PA)
The prime minister is set to remind the public of the new coronavirus restrictions as lockdown measures start to ease today.
He is expected to speak at 5pm this afternoon – from the Government’s new £2.6 million press room – to remind the country to stick to the rules despite the success of the vaccination rollout.
From today, people living in England can socialise in groups of up to six – or two households – in parks and gardens, and outdoor sports facilities can reopen.
Boris Johnson stressed: ‘We must remain cautious, with cases rising across Europe and new variants threatening our vaccine rollout.
‘Despite today’s easements, everyone must continue to stick to the rules, remember hands, face, space, and come forward for a vaccine when called.’
It comes as temperatures are expected to reach 24 degrees Celsius this week in unseasonably warm weather for March.
The ‘stay at home’ message has been dropped, with a new slogan introduced reminding people of how to slow the spread of the virus: ‘Hands, Face, Space and Fresh Air.’
Mr Johnson said he hopes the easing will ‘kick-start a Great British summer of sport’ as football and cricket pitches, tennis and basketball courts, outdoor swimming pools, golf courses and sailing clubs can reopen.
The ‘stay at home’ message has officially been dropped from today (Picture: PA)
Organised team sports can also resume outdoors without the need for social distancing.
Mr Johnson is expected to warn the public there could be a spike in cases as measures are eased, with parts of Europe seeing a third wave of infections.
He will urge people to take personal responsibility for making sure they stick to the rules.
But he said he hopes the vaccine rollout will keep hospitalisations and deaths low, after 30 million Brits were revealed to have received their first dose of the Covid-19 jab as of Saturday.
It means more than 45% of the population have been given a first injection, and more than 5% have had both doses.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the progress of the vaccine programme ‘must be protected’, adding: ‘When you meet others do so outdoors and keep a safe distance.’
Chief medical officer for England, Professor Chris Whitty, added: ‘The evidence is very clear that outdoor spaces are safer than indoors.
‘It is important to remember this as we move into the next phase.’
A public information campaign on social media and TV will warn against the dangers of gathering indoors, with a psychologist advising people to be ‘firm’ and give ‘gentle reminders’ about sticking to the rules if they are encouraged to break them.
Everything you need to know about the rules changing today can be found here.
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