Boris Johnson confirms Britain 'still on track' for June 21 Independence Day

BORIS JOHNSON tonight confirmed his roadmap was "still on track" for the end of lockdown on June 21.

But he resisted calls to bring forward "Independence Day" – despite zero deaths being recorded in England today.

At a Downing Street press briefing this evening the PM said the Government's four tests to ease restrictions next Monday had been met.

It means groups of six will be able to meet indoors, while 30 will be able to gather outside.

Hugging close friends and family will also be allowed as Mr Johnson urged "common sense and caution".

The PM said: "This unlocking amounts to a very considerable step on the road back to normality and I'm confident we will be able to go further.

"Subject to the impact of Step 3 on the data we remain on track to move to step 4 on June 21."

He added that ministers would flesh out "what the world after June 21 would look like" soon, including social distancing and vaccine passports.

The lockdown lifting rules confirmed tonight include:

  • Rules for pubs and restaurants will be relaxed so people can meet up to six inside, and 30 outside
  • Holidays will be legal again – and the £5,000 fines will be dropped
  • Hugging between friends and family will be given the nod, as social distancing rules are expected to be relaxed
  • Hotels, cinemas, indoor play areas and other attractions are allowed to reopen finally
  • But strict pub rules will remain including table service, social distancing and checking in via the NHS app
  • Schoolkids will no longer have to wear masks in class
  • But weddings will still have a 30 person cap, despite funerals having their rules lifted
  • The casual sex ban will finally be over as Brits can get close again, and stay over at each other's homes
  • Organised adult sport and exercise classes can resume indoors and saunas and steam rooms can reopen
  • Working from home should continue if people can
  • Sports events can allow up to 10,000 fans in easing of rules in stadiums

Despite his optimism, Mr Johnson shut down speculation he could accelerate the roadmap.

He said: "I think it's very importantly we should proceed cautiously but irreversibly.

"The secret to the success of what we've had so far is that we've been guided by the data and we've had time to see the effect of each successive stage on the roadmap."

Chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance also warned that "we shouldn't get ahead of ourselves".

The reluctance to bring forward the roadmap jars with the strategy in Scotland, where Nicola Sturgeon has accelerated her blueprint thanks to the successful vaccine drive.

It also puts him at odds with hawkish Tory MPs agitating for him to move faster.

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