Bookshops in England may not reopen until April under UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's new roadmap for easing coronavirus restrictions, reports say.
According to briefings given to national newspapers, the reopening of “non-essential” stores is expected to be a later stage in a phased strategy by the government. The cautious approach means conditions must be met, including that the vaccine roll-out is still going to plan and infections are under control, before proceeding to each new phase.
Johnson will announce his strategy to MPs later today (Monday, 22nd February) before a press conference this evening.
He is expected to say lockdown restrictions will ease beginning with all pupils returning to school on 8th March with outdoor mixing allowed from 29th March.
Non-essential retail is expected to be allowed to reopen in April, with restrictions on pubs and restaurants lifted the following month.
In Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is expected to outline the country's lockdown strategy in the next few weeks. For Wales, First Minister Mark Drakeford has said an order to stay at home could end in three weeks with the possibility that some non-essential shops could reopen then. Northern Ireland's restrictions will not be reviewed until 18th March.
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