London [UK], April 5 (ANI): British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday announced a relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions in the United Kingdom from next week after government data showed that the country has met all four tests for easing the lockdown.
In what Johnson calls "phase two of our roadmap", shops, gyms, zoos, holiday campsites and personal care services will be re-opened.
"In the net result of your efforts and of course the vaccine rollout is that I can today that from Monday, April 12, we will move to step two of our roadmap, reopening shops, gyms, zoos, holiday campsites, personal care services like hairdressers and beer gardens and outdoor hospitality of all kinds," he said during a press conference.
The British Prime Minister also said that he would be going to the pub himself on April 12 and "cautiously but irreversibly raising a pint of beer to my lips".
"We are also increasing the number of visitors to care homes from one to two to allow the residents to see more of their loved ones," he added.
The British PM thanked the people of the country for their patience and said it was their collective efforts that helped in providing crucial time and space to vaccinate over 31 million people.
However, Johnson also urged the people to not become complacent and get their vaccination done as soon as possible. He also asked people to get tested even in the lack of COVID-19 symptoms.
"We can't be complacent. We can see the waves of sickness affecting other countries and we have seen how this story goes. We still don't know how strong the vaccine shield will be when cases begin to rise as I am afraid that they will and that's why we are saying please get your vaccine or second dose when your turn comes, and please use the free NHS tests even if you don't feel ill," he said.
According to the latest update by Johns Hopkins University, the UK has recorded 4,376,560 total infections and 1,27,104 deaths.
More than 31.4 million people have been given the first jab of the coronavirus vaccine, according to the official figures reported by Xinhua.
On February 22, Johnson had announced his roadmap for exiting the lockdown, the third of its kind since the start of the pandemic. The four-step plan is expected to see all legal restrictions in England being removed by mid-June.
Experts have warned Britain is "still not out of the woods" amid concerns over new variants and the third wave of the pandemic in the European continent, Xinhua reported. (ANI)