What will Boris Johnson announce on Monday? The options for easing lockdown, travel and Covid passports

Boris Johnson is set to update the country on Monday about the next steps out of lockdown.

The Prime Minister is expected to announce whether England can move to the next stage of reopening – and he could  give an update on reopening borders and Covid passports.

He could also confirm if hairdressers and beer gardens will be allowed open on April 12.

Here’s what we know about his announcement.

What will Boris Johnson say?

In his press conference on Easter Monday, the Prime Minister is expected to do three things:

  1. Give the formal go-ahead to move to Step 2 in the roadmap (April 12 reopening)
  2. Give an update on the review into reopening borders
  3. Give an update on the review into domestic Covid passports

Here are the details.

April 12 reopening

Mr Johnson’s roadmap is underpinned by four key “tests” linked to data, which will act like a checklist that must be met before moving onto the next step of reopening.

England has successfully passed both stages of Step 1, including getting schools open again and dropping the ‘stay at home’ order.

Four criteria must be satisfied before England can move to the next step of the roadmap, pencilled in for April 12.

They are: that the vaccine roll-out is going as planned; that vaccines are effective in bringing down deaths and hospitalisations; that case numbers are not rising so fast that the NHS risks being overwhelmed; that new variants do not create unforeseen risks.

Mr Johnson is due to meet with scientists over the Easter weekend to analyse the latest data on cases, deaths and hospitalisations, as well as the success of the vaccine roll-out.

If the criteria are met, England will move to Step 2 on April 12. That would mean:

Mr Johnson’s roadmap, announced in February, promised to give businesses time to prepare for the changes, which is why the announcement could come as soon as Monday.

Opening borders

The Prime Minister is also set to update the country on whether borders can reopen.

He may not make a concrete policy announcement, but Mr Johnson could give an indication of his thinking on loosening Britain’s borders.

Mr Johnson is expected to signal on Monday that, when foreign travel is opened up, restrictions will be based on a traffic light system under which countries are rated red, amber or green according to their risk based on vaccination levels, Covid rates and prevalence of variants.

Palma de Mallorca on Thursday. Many Britons will be keen for an update on when they could travel again


Palma de Mallorca on Thursday. Many Britons will be keen for an update on when they could travel again


Credit: REUTERS

Those grades are set to be linked to data, including cases and deaths, new variants, and the percentage of the population that has been vaccinated. 

Vaccinated Britons could avoid Covid tests and the need to quarantine, under plans seen by The Telegraph.

All travellers returning to the UK would be expected to have pre-departure Covid tests irrespective of their vaccination status under proposals drawn up by the Government’s global travel taskforce.  

Read more: Exclusive: Green light for vaccinated Britons to take overseas holidays

Only countries with high vaccination and low Covid rates are likely to be on the green list with an analysis, published by The Telegraph, suggesting just a dozen countries such as Israel, Gibraltar and Malta will be open to British holidaymakers by June.

That taskforce is being led by Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary.

Mr Johnson is not expected to reveal on Monday exactly when borders will be loosened.

Covid passports

Mr Johnson is set to announce details of pilot schemes to test Covid passports.

The Government defines Covid certificates or passports as something that can show you have had either a jab, a negative test, or antibodies.

The pilot schemes are set to held during large events in April and May and will test how major gatherings can happen safely again.

As revealed by The Telegraph, tests will include the FA Cup final, an FA Cup semi final, the League Cup final, and the World Snooker Championships. The organisers of the Brit Awards ceremony are also in talks about participating in the scheme.

The Government could turn one of the NHS smartphone apps into a digital Covid passport, meaning you can carry around with you proof of vaccination, a test, or antibodies.

Mr Johnson is not expected to announce significant detail about the plan on Monday, but he is rumoured to be preparing to rule out using passports in certain settings, such as hospitals, GP surgeries and supermarkets.

However, the Prime Minister could issue guidance on how the passports would link to loosening social distancing rules, such as allowing pubs to open without indoor restrictions.

This review into Covid certificates is being led by Michael Gove, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

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