BORIS JOHNSON is set to further ease lockdown restrictions over the coming days as thousands of sun seekers this week flocked to the coast to enjoy the early summer heatwave.
The Prime Minister on Wednesday set a 10-day target to roll out a system to trace the contacts of those infected with coronavirus. Up to 25,000 trackers have been enlisted to carry out the work which aims to prevent new outbreaks. He said the scheme would have to be up and running for the strict lockdown measures to be rolled back. On Wednesday as temperatures reached their highest so far this year, thousands headed to beaches.
Photos show swimmers and sunbathers flouting social distancing rules on packed coastlines.
The Daily Mail quoted a Whitehall source as saying: “Any decision on the lockdown is conditional on advice that we can move forward without risking a second spike – we are not thereyet,’ said a Whitehall source.
“Hopefully the test-and-trace system will give people confidence in the measures we are taking.”
The Government is expected to make a decision by the end of the week on whether it is safe to further relax social distancing rules.
Scientific advisers to ministers have said the track and trace system will have to be in place before restrictions are lifted.
If the system is up and running over the coming days schools and non-essential shops could be reopened on June 1.
Retail workers have been pictured inside clothing stores wearing masks as they gear up for doors to reopen to shoppers.
Measures prohibiting gatherings with other households could also be relaxed by the beginning of next month if scientists feel it is safe to do so.
The developments come as the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday recorded the highest number of new coronavirus cases, with 106,000 people being added to the tally the day before.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said “we still have a long way to go in this pandemic” as he warned he was “very concerned about the rising numbers of cases in low- and middle-income countries”.