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UK government to unveil 'roadmap' to reopening society in week commencing 22 February

The Prime Minister has revealed the plans this evening

Cambridge Theatre
© RSC

The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that the government will unveil plans for reopening the country in the week commencing 22 February.

Speaking to the public tonight, Johnson said that: "With every jab that goes in we become more confident that we will reach our target of giving a vaccine to those in the top four groups".

"In the week beginning the 22 February, we will set out our plan to gradually reopen our society and economy, to get our lives as close to normal as possible.

"This will inevitably be a timetable that will be subject to adjustment, but I believe it will provide clarity and certainty about the way ahead. A roadmap we can take together that we can use to begin to slowly reclaim our lives."

Johnson has said that he "hopes" schools will be able to re-open from 8 March, with other aspects of the economy likely to follow after this, in accordance with Johnson's "roadmap". It means that the current lockdown measures will be in place for a number of weeks.

The Prime Minister added that the roadmap to reopening will be similar to that laid out last year, which had various levels and dates which suggested when and how restrictions might be lifted.

According to reports in the Financial Times, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam will also lead an investigation into how vaccinations inhibit the spread of the virus (rather than simply prevent infection). Over 7 million vaccines have been administered in the UK thus far, as the nationwide scheme continues.

In the meantime, a large portion of the workforce in the theatre industry suffer from a lack of sector-specific support – particularly freelancers, who are ineligible for the SEISS scheme. A variety of streamed performances with remote audiences are able to take place in a Covid-compliant manner.

Johnson also noted the "huge strides" being made in testing, which will also aid in reducing infection levels, which recently hit record levels, though have started to decline in some areas.

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