Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the government will next week announce a timetable for the reopening of parts of the economy that remain shut such as swimming pools, gyms and nail bars.
At a Downing Street press conference he said: “Next week we will set out a timetable for their reopening, though of course I can only lift those remaining national restrictions as and when it is safe to do so.”
Johnson also addressed criticism of the government’s coronavirus travel quarantine plan, which the Scottish and Welsh administrations called “shambolic”. The government today unveiled a list of 59 countries holidaymakers from England will be able to travel to without needing to quarantine on return from 10 July.
The PM insisted that the quarantine plan had been heavily trailed and that there would be robust quarantining in place from a large number of countries.
It came a day ahead of the reopening of much of the hospitality sector from the coronavirus lockdown. Pubs, restaurants and cafes can reopen if they feel it is safe to do so.
Johnson said: “As lockdown eases we should focus on supporting the livelihoods of business owners and employees up and down the country.”
The government has faced criticism for mixed messaging on the next stage of the easing of the lockdown, which has been dubbed “independence day”.
The Treasury had to delete a tweet that encouraged people to “raise a glass” to the ending of the lockdown amid criticism that it was encouraging a flood of people to the pub.
Johnson today said that the success of hospitality businesses “and ultimately the economic health of the whole country is dependent on every single one of us acting responsibly. We must not let them down”.
He warned the public that the government will not “will not hesitate in putting on the breaks” on the easing of lockdown if cases rise again.
The US has seen a surge in coronavirus cases in recent weeks. States such as Florida and Texas have pulled back their plans to reopen, which could have worrying implications for the economy.
The government earlier today revealed the full list of countries holidaymakers from England will be able to travel to without needing to quarantine on return from 10 July.
Surprisingly Greece is included, although transport secretary Grant Shapps this morning told the BBC it would not be on the list until 15 July at the earliest due to Greek restrictions on UK travel.