PUBS, hairdressers and most shops across Winchester will reopen on April 12 as Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed lockdown easing would go ahead as planned.

In a press conference this evening, the PM said that he will be toasting the changes by “cautiously but irreversibly raising a pint of beer to my lips”.

However, he warned that the public “can’t be complacent” over the potential for a third wave of Covid if restrictions aren’t followed.

Under the next stage of lockdown easing, non-essential retail can reopen, as well as personal care businesses such as hairdressers and nail salons. Indoor leisure facilities such as gyms will also be returning, as will outdoor attractions such as zoos.

Hospitality venues will be allowed to serve people outside, with pubs no longer having a requirement for a ‘substantial meal’ with alcohol, though table serve must be provided. Holidays in the UK will also be permitted with campsites and holiday lets allowed to offer accommodation to people from the same household.

Addressing a Downing Street press conference, Boris Johnson said: “The net result of your efforts and, of course, the vaccine rollout is that I can today confirm that from Monday April 12, we will move to step two of our road map.

“Reopening shops, gyms, zoos, holiday campsites, personal care services like hairdressers and of course beer gardens and outdoor hospitality of all kinds. And on Monday 12, I will be going to the pub myself and cautiously but irreversibly raising a pint of beer to my lips.”

The Prime Minister said the lockdown changes in England were “fully justified” but urged the public not to be complacent.

Mr Johnson told a Downing Street press briefing: “We think that these changes are fully justified by the data, which shows that we are meeting our four tests for easing the lockdown. But – and you know I’m going to say this – we can’t be complacent. We can see the waves of sickness afflicting other countries and we’ve seen how this story goes.

“We still don’t know how strong the vaccine shield will be when cases begin to rise, as I’m afraid they will, and that’s why we’re saying please get your vaccine or your second dose when the turn comes. And please use the free NHS tests even if you don’t feel ill.”

However, he added that current data didn’t suggest a deviation from the lockdown roadmap would be necessary.

He said: “We set out our road map and we’re sticking with it. And I want to stress that we see nothing in the present data that makes us think that we will have to deviate from that road map. But it is by being cautious, by monitoring the data at every stage and by following the rules – remembering hand, face, space, fresh air – that we hope together to make this road map to freedom irreversible.”

As of Monday, April 5, the total number of Covid cases in the UK is 4,362,150.

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