Boris Johnson to hold press conference as England lockdown restrictions eased
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Prime Minister Boris Johnson will address the nation on Monday evening on the day coronavirus lockdown restrictions began to ease.
People can meet and play sport outside for the first time in months as the nation continues its road out of lockdown.
Mr Johnson, who will speak at 5pm, is expected to remind people the country needs to stick to the rules despite the success of the vaccination rollout and the easing of restrictions.
Ahead of the press conference, the PM said: "We must remain cautious, with cases rising across Europe and new variants threatening our vaccine rollout.
"Despite today's easements, everyone must continue to stick to the rules, remember hands, face, space, and come forward for a vaccine when called."
The 'stay at home' message has now been dropped by the government with a new slogan introduced to remind the public of how to slow the spread of the virus: 'Hands, face, space and fresh air.'
Monday's easing of lockdown restrictions means up to six people can meet outside, including in private gardens. Outdoor sports facilities are reopening while weddings can take place attended by up to six people.
The next step on the roadmap, which will happen no earlier than April 12, will see shops reopening and pubs and restaurants able to welcome customers for outdoor service.
Mr Johnson said he hopes the easing will "kickstart a Great British summer of sport" on the nation's football and cricket pitches, tennis and basketball courts and outdoor swimming pools.
He also urged people to take responsibility to make sure they stick to the rules with much of Europe experiencing a third Covid wave.
But he said he hopes the vaccine rollout will keep hospitalisations and deaths low, with an impressive 30 million Brits having received their first dose of the jab as of Saturday.
It means more than 45% of the country have been given their first dose, while 5% have received both jabs.
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