04 May 2020

PM's lockdown plan: What day is Boris Johnson's address to the nation? What will he announce? How have other countries relaxed measures?

As the UK enters its seventh week in lockdown, pressure is mounting on the Government to begin relaxing some of the strict social distancing rules that have been in place since March 23.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced at the daily briefing on Thursday last week that the Britain was officially ‘past the peak’ of the virus.

The number of hospitalisations and number of deaths each day have been steadily declining for the past couple of weeks and the number of infections has remained consistent despite a drastic ramp up in testing.

So, for many people across the UK, the next question on everybody's lips is ‘what’s next?'.

Here's everything you need to know about this week's major update by the Prime Minister on the country's battle against coronavirus.

When is the Prime Minister's announcement?

Boris Johnson will address the UK's lockdown strategy on Sunday, 24 days after Dominic Raab announced a three-week extension to Britain's social distancing measures.

No time has yet been confirmed.

What will be announced?

Johnson has promised to provide a ‘roadmap’ for how the country will steer its way out of the strict lockdown.

However, in his first address since recovering from coronavirus himself, Johnson was also quick to state that specific dates may not be given with regards to when various social distancing measures will be lifted.

The three areas the Prime Minister said he will tackle in his ‘comprehensive plan’ on Sunday are:

  • Explain how we will get our economy moving
  • How we can get children back into school and childcare
  • How we can travel to work and how we can make life in the workplace safer

Johnson stressed that any changes to measures will be in an attempt to balance ‘continuing to suppress the disease’ alongside ‘restarting the economy’.

How have other countries relaxed lockdown measures?


Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has given the people of his country a detailed plan as to how they are going to exit the lockdown, with some measures having already been relaxed on Monday, May 4.

In what has been described as ‘Phase 2’ of the lockdown, people in the same municipalities are now allowed to move around for work, health and family visiting.

However, people are still not allowed to travel to other regions of the country.

Factories that had been closed down during the coronavirus lockdown have now been re-opened, while funerals are now permitted for groups of 15 or fewer.

Restrictions surrounding exercise have been relaxed so that people can now do so outside of their own homes, but players for sports teams must still train individually.

Bars and restaurants are now open for takeaway service as well as delivery, but people still cannot dine in.

The next phase of lifting the lockdown is then scheduled to happen on May 18 when retail shops, museums and libraries re-open, with sports teams also able to go back to normal training.

Lastly, on June 1, it is hoped that hairdressers, beauty salons, bars and restaurants will all be back open for business as ‘normal’.


Germany have also relaxed lockdown measures after the country kept its peak significantly lower than that of the UK, France, Spain or Italy.

Playgrounds, churches, zoos and hairdressers are among the public spaces which have been re-opened to the public, although strict social distancing measures are still strongly advised.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has stressed the importance of the infection rate continuing to drop and has warned a second lockdown could well be implemented if guidelines are not followed and the virus begins to spread rapidly once more.


French President Emmanuel Macron has announced that retail shops and primary schools will re-open from May 11.

However, senior schools will be closed until at least June, with pubs, restaurants and bars also remaining shut until at least next month.

Masks must be worn by those who are working and cannot maintain social distancing. Protective equipment is also compulsory on public transport.


Rural areas are being allowed out of lockdown quicker than cities as the coronavirus is more prevalent in the urban areas.

Unlike France, schools will not be re-opening until September, but some bars and restaurants will be allowed to open and run at ‘30 per cent’ capacity providing they have an outdoor section.

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