'Good chance' of removing one metre plus rule in June, says PM

Screen grab of Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Prime minister Boris Johnson will outline whether Step 3 of the government roadmap will go ahead as planned on May 10. - Credit: PA Wire

There is a "good chance" social distancing measures of one metre plus could be scrapped in June, according to the prime minister. 

Boris Johnson gave an update on the country's progress to meet the criteria to ease lockdown restrictions on May 17 and said there was a "good chance" the measures could end on June 21 - the earliest the removal of all legal limits on social contact would take place. 

When he announced his roadmap in February, Mr Johnson said measures easing would have to meet four tests before unlocking further. 

The Government will take into account the success of the vaccine rollout, whether there is evidence they are reducing hospital admissions and deaths, the level of infection rates and the presence of any new Covid variants.

Mr Johnson said: "As things stand, and the way things are going, with the vaccine rollout going the way that it is - we have done 50 million jabs as I speak to you today, quarter of the adult population, one in four have had two jabs.

"You are seeing the results of that really starting to show up in the epidemiology.

"I think that we will be able to go ahead, feels like May 17 is going to be good.

"But it also looks to me as though June 21 we'll be able to say social distancing as we currently have to do it, the one-metre plus, I think we have got a good chance of being able to dispense with the one-metre plus from June 21.

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"That is still dependent on the data, we can't say it categorically yet, we have got to look at the epidemiology as we progress, we have got to look at where we get to with the disease. But that's what it feels like to me right now."

Step three of the government's roadmap which will come into effect no earlier than May 17 which will allow up to six, or two households, to meet indoors.

The date will allow indoor hospitality to reopen and indoor entertainment venues such as cinemas and children's play areas to begin trading again.

Also on Monday, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on coronavirus urged the Government to "discourage all international leisure travel" to protect the UK from Covid-19 variants. 

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