The statement made by Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, on 5 April 2021.
Good afternoon, I hope you’re all continuing to enjoy the Easter break, and I know that over this weekend millions of people have been able to see loved ones for the first time in months.
And I want to thank you all again for your patience, because it is really clear now that this is paying off.
And it your collective efforts, our collective efforts, that has given us that crucial time and space to vaccinate more than 31 million people.
And I’m pleased that we’ve also been able to support our overseas territories so that Gibraltar has become one of the first places in the world to offer a vaccination to its entire adult population.
And the net result of your efforts and the vaccine roll-out is that I can today confirm that from Monday 12th April, we will move to Step Two of our roadmap – re-opening shops, gyms, zoos, holiday campsites, personal care services like hairdressers and, of course, beer gardens and outdoor hospitality of all kinds.
And on Monday the 12th I will be going to the pub myself – and cautiously but irreversibly raising a pint of beer to my lips.
We’re also increasing the number of visitors to care homes from one to two – to allow residents to see more of their loved ones.
We think that these changes are fully justified by the data which show we are meeting our four tests for easing the lockdown as Chris will shortly explain.
But – and you know I’m going to say this – we can’t be complacent.
We can see the waves of sickness afflicting other countries and we’ve seen how this story goes.
We still don’t know how strong the vaccine shield will be when cases begin to rise, as I’m afraid that they will – and that’s why we’re saying:
Please get your vaccine or your second dose when your turn comes.
And please use the free NHS tests – even if you don’t feel ill, because remember 1 in 3 people with this virus doesn’t have any symptoms – and you can get these tests from pharmacies or your local test site, you can even order them on gov.uk and get home deliveries.
As part of our roadmap we’re also publishing today on gov.uk the early thinking on our four reviews, on the safe return of major events, on social distancing, the potential role of Covid status certification, and on the resumption of international travel.
We set out our roadmap and we’re sticking to it.
And I want to stress, that we see nothing in the present data that makes us think that we will have to deviate from that roadmap.
But it is by being cautious, by monitoring the data at every stage and by following the rules: remembering hands, face, space and fresh air – that we hope together to make this roadmap to freedom irreversible.