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England takes first step in easing lockdown

Boris Johnson will stress the need for people to be cautious as England today takes its first significant step towards easing lockdown restrictions for adults.

People will now be able to meet up legally outdoors, including in private gardens, in a group of six – from any number of households – or in a group of any size from up to two households, and organised outdoor sport can resume.

Government advertising will show why indoor mixing with other households is still risky, while the health department is publicising a psychologist’s advice on resisting pressure from others to break the rules.

Johnson said: “We must remain cautious … Despite today’s easements, everyone must continue to stick to the rules.” As only two in five licensed premises have trading space outdoors, Birmingham, Manchester and London are preparing for road closures and pavement widening to help restaurants, bars and pubs when outdoor-only drinking and dining is allowed from 12 April.

Moderna’s Covid vaccine is joining the UK rollout from April, which is being dubbed “second dose month” after the UK passed the milestone of giving a first shot to 30 million people.

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