British PM Boris Johnson announces multi-stage process for reopening his nation

The country will only move forward if it is deemed safe enough to do so, Johnson said.

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson
(George Wood/Getty Images)
Updated: May 10, 2020 - 3:57pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson presented a multi-stage plan to reopen the United Kingdom after a strict coronavirus-related lockdown. If the country backslides at any time, he noted, the government will again crank up measures meant to curb the illness.

Johnson said that people who are unable to telework are being urged to go back to work.

"We said that you should go to work if you can and only go to work if you must," Johnson said. "We now need to stress that anyone who can't work from home, for instance those in construction or manufacturing, should be actively encouraged to go to work."

People can engage in "more and even unlimited amounts of outdoor exercise" beginning later this week, Johnson said. 

"You can sit in the sun in your local park, you can drive to other destinations, you can even play sports only with members of your own household," Johnson said, adding that people are required to follow social distancing rules, and that fines for violators will be increased.

Phase two could begin as early as June and would include reopening stores and returning "primary pupils" to the classroom. "Our ambition is that secondary pupils facing exams next year will get at least some time with their teachers before the holidays," he added.

Phase three could begin in July, and would include "at least some of the hospitality industry and other public places," Johnson said, noting that people would need to observe social distancing. 

He said that the decision on whether to reopen "will be driven not by mere hope or economic necessity," but rather "by the science, the data and public health."

1:55, roadmap for reopening society 2:55

8:00

9:00 sports

increasing fines for social distancing

step 2 june 1 phased reopening of businesses and schools

step 3 earliest by July hope to reopen some hospitality industry and other public places w/ social distancing

10:35: driven by science datat pubic health not economic

11:09 soon be time to impose quarantine on people coming in by air

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