Boris Johnson eases UK lockdown, allowing car travel and sunbathing

In a pre-recorded television statement Sunday night, Johnson revealed a roadmap to resume activity in the country after more than six weeks during the lockdown.

Until Johnson's announcement, residents with jobs were considered unimportant, advised to leave the home only for local training once a day and to buy food or medicine.

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"From this Wednesday, we want to encourage people to take more and even unlimited amounts of outdoor training," he said.

"You can sit in the sun in your local park, you can drive to other destinations, you can even play sports, but only with members of your own household."

The Secretary of State's announcement was aimed at relaxing the messages surrounding the UK's lockdown, while more details on exactly what measures will be eased are expected on Monday.

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In his address, Johnson officially launched the government's new slogan, replacing "Stay at home" advice to save lives, to "Stay alert."

In a Tweet in advance of the announcement, Johnson urged people to still "stay home as much as possible" and "limit contact with other people." And he asked them to uphold the two meter long social distance rule, implying that the government would allow people to exercise their own judgment to some extent on how they can resume work and socializing.

Johnson announced a new five-level warning system, much like it already uses to assess terrorist threats. He said the country was now at level four, with five being the highest threat level, and by relaxing restrictions, the country could soon be at level three.

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What does & # 39; Stay alert & # 39;

The message of staying awake has been met with criticism and ridicule on social media, unlike "stay home", it is unclear exactly what it means in practice.

Jenrick defended the new message, saying on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show that "we need a more nuanced message" and that staying home will "still be an important part of the message."

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This is not the first time the British government has criticized its communications with the public in its response to coronavirus. Johnson telegraphed earlier this week that he hoped any changes to the nation's lockdown announced Sunday would take effect as quickly as Monday.

His lack of details on what measures could be relaxed spurred a lot of speculation in British media.

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The suggestion that Monday could lead to new freedoms seems to have affected people in London: hundreds were photographed in parks sunbathing and having a picnic, as sunny weather tempted them to break the rules of confinement over the weekend. Police said they were forced to disperse groups who drink beer and wine and share pizza.

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The government's new slogan has also put it at odds with Britain's smaller three nations.

Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have extended their lockdowns to May 28, and officials from all three nations said there had been no coordination between their governments and Downing Street over the new message, and they would continue to spread "stay home" "message among their own people.

Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Sunday that people in her nation could start exercising more than once a day from Monday.
Britain is one of the world's hardest hit pandemics. More than 31,000 people have died, according to government data.

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