England is set to reopen gyms and non-essential shops after the end of lockdown next month. The UK nations of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have also backed the Christmas get-together plan by the UK government…reports Asian Lite Newsdesk
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that gyms and non-essential shops in all parts of England will be allowed to reopen when lockdown ends next month, the media reported.
The prime minister told the House off Commons that the three-tiered regional measures will return from 2 December, but he added that each tier will be toughened, the BBC reported.
In this system, spectators will be allowed to return to some sporting events, and weddings and collective worship will resume.
However, every region of England will be told on Thursday which tier they will be put into after the lockdown ends.
The allocation of tiers will be dependent on a number of factors, including each area’s case numbers, the reproduction rate – or R number – and the current and projected pressure on the NHS locally, the report said.
Tier allocations will be reviewed every 14 days, and the regional approach will last until March.
UK-nations back get-together
The four UK nations of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have backed plans to allow some household mixing “for a small number of days” over Christmas, a media report said on Monday.
According to the BBC report, work to finalise the arrangements for a UK-wide approach to restrictions for the upcoming holiday season is ongoing.
In a statement, the Cabinet Office said that Ministers from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have endorsed a “shared objective of facilitating some limited additional household bubbling for a small number of days”.
But they have emphasised that the public will be advised to “remain cautious”, and that “wherever possible people should avoid travelling and minimise social contact”.
While the Scottish government has said that “no agreement has been reached” so far on the arrangements, Northern Ireland Ministers have also “recognised that people will want to see family and friends across the island of Ireland, and this is the subject of discussions with the Irish government”, according to the Cabinet Office.
Under the new system, 10 p.m. closing time for pubs and restaurants will also be relaxed.
Following Johnson’s meeting with his Cabinet to sign off on the plans on Sunday, the Downing Street said that some local measures will be the same as those in the previous three-tier system which was in place in England until the current lockdown began.
Also on Monday, the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies is expected to publish research on Monday saying the previous tiered restrictions in England were not strong enough.
On Sunday, the UK recorded another 18,662 new coronavirus cases and 398 deaths.
With the new tallies, the country’s overall caseload and death toll have increased to 1,515,802 and 55,120, respectively.
Ex-PMs slam Boris
Former UK Prime Ministers David Cameron and Tony Blair have warned incumbent leader Boris Johnson against slashing the country’s overseas budget, the media reported on Saturday.
The UK is committed to spending 0.7 per cent of the GDP on aid, but the Johnson-led government was mulling reducing the target to 0.5 per cent, which would have saved around 4 billion pounds this year, the BBC reported.
In a statement, Cameron said such a move would be a “moral, strategic and political mistake”.
The 0.7 per cent target, initially proposed by the UN in the 1970s, was first adopted in the UK by Blair’s Labour government in 2005.
However, it was not actually reached until 2013 under the Cameron-led coalition government.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph on Saturday, Blair said Britain’s 0.7 per cent commitment had saved millions of lives in the past 20 years by helping to reduce deaths from deadly diseases such as malaria and HIV in Africa.
Millions have also been educated, living standards raised, and life expectancy “dramatically” increased, he was quoted as saying.
The warnings come ahead of the UK taking over the G7 presidency from the US on January 1, 2021.
The G7 comprises world’s seven largest so-called advanced economies: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US.
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