BRITS will be allowed to sunbathe in parks and play 'unlimited sport' from Wednesday in new lockdown rules announced by Boris Johnson tonight.
While there is no immediate end to the quarantine, the PM said people would now be allowed to spend time outdoors for leisure purposes and even picnic outside.
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The PM's announcement comes after police said they were fighting a "losing battle" to keep people indoors over the bank holiday weekend.
Brits poured into parks and onto beaches to enjoy the weekend sun despite the coronavirus guidelines.
Speaking tonight, Mr Johnson said: "From this Wednesday we want to encourage people to take more and even unlimited amounts of outdoor exercise.
"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."
But he warned: "You must obey the rules on social distancing and to enforce those rules we will increase the fines for the small minority who break them."
In a video message tonight the PM:
- Urged Brits to get back to work if they can't from home
- Revealed Brits would be allowed to sunbathe in parks and play unlimited sport from Wednesday – and can go on day trips
- Said anyone coming into the country by air would be forced to quarantine
- Schools will start going back from June – but only if the infection level is low enough
- But he warned that pubs, cinemas and mass gatherings would be off the cards for months to come
The new measures announced tonight mean that from Wednesday, Brits will be allowed to head outdoors to enjoy the summer sun in parks and beaches, although they will have to continue to socially distance themselves from others.
Brits will also be allowed to play sport – however only with their own household.
Anyone repeatedly flouting the rules could be slapped with fines of up to £3,200 under the new regime or first time offenders could have to fork out £100 – nearly double the current penalty.
CONTROL THE VIRUS
More details around the lockdown changes are set to be revealed tomorrow and into this week.
Speaking in an address to the nation, Mr Johnson thanked the public for following the guidelines over the past six weeks.
He said: "It is thanks to your effort and sacrifice in stopping the spread of this disease that the death rate is coming down and hospital admissions are coming down."
"Thanks to you we have protected our NHS and saved many thousands of lives."
But he warned the battle against the bug had not been won yet.
Mr Johnson added: "It would be madness now to throw away that achievement by allowing a second spike.
"We must stay alert. We must continue to control the virus and save lives."
This morning the PM tweeted more detail about his new guidelines, insisting “this is how we can continue to save lives as we start to recover from coronavirus.”
- Stay at home as much as possible
- Work from home if you can
- Limit contact with other people
- Keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
- Wash your hands regularly
Yet even before the PM's speech at 8pm on Sunday, the home nations threatened a revolt against his new guidelines.
In a pointed tweet today, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon revealed she’d not been told about the new slogan in advance.
She tweeted: "The Sunday papers is the first I've seen of the PM's new slogan.
"It is of course for him to decide what's most appropriate for England, but given the critical point we are at in tackling the virus, #StayHomeSaveLives remains my clear message to Scotland at this stage."
Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford also hit out at the Government, saying the stay-home slogan has not "gone away" in Wales.
Senior ministers are said to be furious that parts of Mr Johnson's speech were pre-recorded before the full Cabinet and Cobra had even talked about the issues today.
The death toll today hit more than 31,000 fatalities while more than 215,000 cases have been recorded.
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