Boris Johnson says people must ‘act responsibly’ ahead of Saturday lockdown easing

Boris Johnson will urge the public to “act responsibly” when a wave of lockdown measures in England are eased this weekend.

Businesses including pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and cinemas will be given the green-light to reopen for the first time since March from Saturday.

Speaking at a Number 10 press conference on Friday, Mr Johnson will urge the public to back businesses that are “opening their doors for the first time in more than three months”.

But he will warn people to avoid “putting us all at risk” by failing to comply with social distancing guidelines.

“All these businesses and their workers have put in a heroic effort to prepare their venues for this reopening, to work out a way to trade in a way that keeps their customers safe,” he will say.

“But the success of these businesses, the livelihoods of those who rely on them, 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.”

Mr Johnson will point to the reimposed local lockdown in Leicester — which will not see a lifting of measures on Saturday — as an example of how coronavirus “is still with us”.

And he will warn: “If it starts running out of control again the Government will not hesitate in putting on the brakes and re-imposing restrictions.

“Anyone who flouts social distancing and COVID-Secure rules is not only putting us all at risk but letting down those businesses and workers who have done so much to prepare for this new normal.

“So as we take this next step, our biggest step yet, on the road to recovery, I urge the British public to do so safely.”

In a bid to help businesses reopen, the Government has changed its guidance stating that people should keep two metres apart from those outside their household at all times.

A review carried out at the request of the PM said that while there was “evidence that the risk of transmission increases by 2-10 times at 1m compared to 2m”, mitigations such as the use of masks, screens, changing shift patterns and room layouts “may reduce the level of risk at 1m so that it is broadly equivalent to being 2m apart”.

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