‘Optimistic’ Johnson hints at how lockdown will be eased


Boris Johnson has said he is “optimistic” ahead of his “roadmap” for easing England’s lockdown – and hinted at which industries will reopen first.

The prime minister said his plan, which will be unveiled on 22 February, will prioritise the reopening of schools from 8 March.

He added that non-essential retail will follow, then hospitality venues.

“Our children’s education is our number one priority, but then working forward, getting non-essential retail open as well and then, in due course as and when we can prudently, cautiously, of course we want to be opening hospitality as well,” he said.

“I will be trying to set out as much as I possibly can in as much detail as I can, always understanding that we have to be wary of the pattern of disease. We don’t want to be forced into any kind of retreat or reverse ferret.”

Mr Johnson added: “I’m optimistic, I won’t hide it from you. I’m optimistic, but we have to be cautious.”

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