The British Government has revealed new easing of lockdown measures currently in place across the country. On Monday, May 25, Prime Minister Boris Johnson published his plan to “give people hope” in the form of his long-awaited “roadmap” for getting Britain out of its coronavirus lockdown.
Mr Johnson said the formal decision on moving to step two of easing the lockdown would come by the legal deadline of Thursday.
The news comes as Britain enters its 10th week of lockdown.
The Government will also set out its assessment of its five tests for easing restrictions and give details of possible changes in rules for non-essential shops.
Mr Johnson revealed his plans as he was speaking from Downing Street for the daily coronavirus press briefing on Monday.
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He said: “Once again I want to thank you the people of this country for the sheer grit and guts you’ve shown and are continuing to show.
“Every day I know that this virus brings new sadness and mourning to households across the land.”
He added he shared business concerns about the length of the lockdown but he refused to “throw away all the effort and sacrifice of the British people” and risk a second peak.
Mr Johnson continued: “It is still true that this is the biggest single challenge this country has faced since the war and I in no way minimise the continuing problems we face.”
When will bookmakers open?
Betting shops were included alongside the likes of cafes, pubs, museums, leisure centres and cinemas that were asked to shut on March 20 – more than two months ago.
But bookmakers will be able to open their doors again in a few weeks.
The Government announced that after almost three months, betting shops can open from June 15.
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Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “The high street sits at the heart of every community in the country.
“Enabling these businesses to open will be a critical step on the road to rebuilding our economy, and will support millions of jobs across the UK.
“The guidance we have set out today provides a vital framework to get shops open in a way that is safe for everyone.
“It explains how retail workers who are not currently working can go back to work as safely as possible and feel confident in their workplace.
“And it reassures customers that shops are properly assessing the risks and putting in place measures to protect them.”
That date could be pushed back if infection rates rise, however.
The date is particularly important for bookmakers, coming a day ahead of the scheduled start of the Royal Ascot meeting on June 16.
A Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) spokesperson told iGB: “With racing returning soon, we welcome the fact that betting shops across the country will be able to open their doors again on June 15.
“Our members are working hard to prepare shops for reopening and to ensure a safe environment for customers with social distancing and hygiene measures in place.
“Bookies employ nearly 50,000 hard-working staff, who have all played their part in the national effort to combat the spread of COVID-19, and we now look forward to providing customers with the best possible experience as lockdown eases.”
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