Boris Johnson vows to ‘gradually make it easier to see family and friends’ as UK meets 3 of 5 tests to relax lockdown


BORIS Johnson has vowed to make it “gradually easier to see family and friends” over time – as he revealed that three out of five tests have been met to ease the lockdown rules.

The PM urged Brits to be patient, stressing that it was only by sticking with it that the people of Britain can get the rewards of seeing loved ones in time.

Boris Johhnson said he wanted to make it easier to see friends and family

Writing in the Mail on Sunday today, the PM said: “If we all stick at it, then we’ll be able, gradually, to get rid of the complexities and the restrictions and make it easier and simpler for families to meet again.

“But we must move slowly, and at the right time.”

And the Prime Minister revealed that of the five lockdown tests “three have been met and progress is being made on the remaining two”.

Officials said that they were confident that the NHS can cope, there was a sustained and consistent fall in the death rate, and the rate of infection is also decreasing.

The two remaining tests are making sure that there are enough tests and PPE to meet future demand, and being confident any tweaks would not overwhelm the NHS either.

Under Government plans, Boris wants to open schools and non-essential shops from June 1 onwards, if the rate of infection is low enough.

And from the start of July, ministers are planning to try and open up even more services – possibly including restaurants, cafes and cinemas.

But Boris admitted that “we have to acknowledge we may need to live with this virus for some time to come” and life was far off returning to normal again.

New rules to get Britain back to work in the coming weeks urge Brits to wear masks on public transport,  and to keep two metres apart as much as possible.

Last week lifted some lockdown restrictions – allowing people to exercise more and see one person at a distance.

The PM said he could understand why some people are frustrated with the different new rules, but trusted in the “good sense” of the public.

Brits are able to have cleaners over to work in their homes and have people over to view properties on the market – but still can’t see friends and family.

People can meet in pairs outside as long as they stay two metres apart – but can’t see both parents at the same time.

And people in England are now allowed to go on day trips across the country, but cannot cross into Wales and Scotland where different rules are in place.

“I understand that people will feel frustrated with some of the new rules,” he admitted.

“I recognise what we are now asking is more complex than simply staying at home – but this is a complex problem and we need to trust in the good sense of the British people.”

This weekend Brits flocked to parks, beaches and other open spaces to make the most of their new freedoms.

Families build sandcastles on the beach in Dorset

Joggers and cyclists on Wimbledon Common this morning during the first weekend after strict lockdown measures were eased in England

However, beauty spots including the Lake District urged people to continue to stay away and not overwhelm local areas.

As the country enters its ninth week of lockdown on Monday, Boris stressed: “We have achieved a lot together so far. Let’s not throw it all away now.

“In return for the small freedoms we are now allowing ourselves, we must stay alert.

“We must do so in the knowledge that our self-discipline will, eventually, lead to the return of our much-missed normality.”