Boris Johnson wants lockdown exercise rules relaxed but gyms and shops could stay shut until April

Boris Johnson wants lockdown exercise rules relaxed but gyms and shops could stay shut until April

January 30, 2021

BORIS Johnson plans to relax rules on exercising during England's third national lockdown – but gyms, hairdressers and shops could stay shut until April.

Meanwhile, pubs could remain closed until May as the UK battles through the pandemic.

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However, the PM has asked ministers to draft plans to relax currently strict rules on exercise.

Currently, Brits are only allowed to meet with one person from another household outside once a day for the purpose of exercising.

Possible options on the table include allowing people to meet one friend more than once in 24 hours.

Alternatively, socially distanced exercise could be permitted in groups of three or four – although this is thought to be harder to police.  

Mr Johnson has extended the shutdown until at least March 8.

However, it's understood the route out of this lockdown will be slow, with rules likely to remain strict for months to come.

Now a source close to the PM told the Daily Mail the priority remains reopening class for kids.

"Schools will be first and everything else will have to take its place after that," they said.

"The only exception might be exercise.

"The PM keeps coming back to social contact – is there anything we could do to help a bit? 

"Could we do a bit more on exercise to help with people's mental health? That is being looked at."

It's reported officials will look at whether outdoor sports where participants can be socially distanced – such as golf – could resume.

However, it's understood it's unlikely to happen soon.

Mr Johnson announced this week that he'll make a 'road map' out of restrictions public on February 22.

The plan will depend on "the continued success of the vaccination program," as well as the "capacity of the NHS" and the rate at which people are dying from coronavirus in the UK.

The PM admitted that getting kids back to class was tied to the national restrictions – and children will not be going back after February half-term as initially hoped.

Mr Johnson said kids would continue to learn remotely for weeks to come – and there was not yet enough data to decide when to lift the lockdown measures.

And today, he published an open letter to parents thanking them for their efforts during the pandemic.

"I'm particularly in awe of the way the parents, carers and guardians of children have risen to the unique challenges with which you have been faced," he said.

"Whether you've been welcoming a baby into the world without all the usual support networks, finding new ways to entertain a restive five-year-old when the soft play centre is shut and playdates are but a distant memory, or steering a teenager through the emotional stresses and strains of these unprecedented times, you have been dealt the trickiest of hands yet played it magnificently."

The Government has pledged to vaccinate all the over 70s, NHS staff and the clinically vulnerable by February 15.

Meanwhile, a new Covid jab is effective in 89.3 per cent of cases, it was revealed this week.

Sixty million doses of the Novavax vaccine will be produced on Teesside.

And trials for the one-shot US Janssen vaccine are expected imminently -with Britain having ordered 30million doses.


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