'Behave responsibly', urges UK PM as Covid lockdown eases

Behave responsibly, urges UK PM as Covid lockdown eases

London: Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged people to continue to "behave responsibly" as shops, hairdressers, restaurants, pubs and gyms reopen their doors on Monday in the latest stage of the Coronavirus lockdown easing in England.

People were seen queuing overnight outside some clothing stores and also some pubs and restaurants, which are now allowed to serve customers outdoors. Social mixing indoors remains heavily restricted and people are still expected to work from home where possible to minimise the amount they have to commute.

"I'm sure it will be a huge relief for those business owners who have been closed for so long, and for everyone else it's a chance to get back to doing some of the things we love and have missed," Johnson said.

"I urge everyone to continue to behave responsibly and remember 'hands, face, space and fresh air' to suppress COVID as we push on with our vaccination programme," he said.

According to some media reports, the UK PM will be among some of the first in line to get his haircut ahead of a special House of Commons session for tributes to the late Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, who passed away on Friday.

Under this stage of the lockdown easing roadmap laid out by the government, public buildings such as libraries and community centres can reopen. Most outdoor attractions including zoos, theme parks, and socially-distanced drive-in performances can reopen.

Some smaller outdoor events such as fetes, literary fairs, and fairgrounds can take place; weddings, civil partnership ceremonies, wakes and other commemorative events can take place for up to 15 people.

People are not allowed to visit each other's homes and socialising indoors remains prohibited outside of households and support bubbles.

The Metropolitan Police also urged people to exercise caution as it prepared to enhance patrols in busy areas of London.

The Met is ready to welcome back people to the streets of London. We will be stepping up our patrols to busy high footfall areas, to look out for everyone's safety and to disrupt any criminal activity, said Deputy Assistant Commissioner Jane Connors, the Met Police's lead for COVID-19 response.

Of course, where we need to take action against those who dangerously flout the rules we will do. While the case rate has declined in London, we have seen the concerning position in northern Europe. It is important that we all stick to the rules so further lockdowns, or restrictions, are avoided, she said.

Businesses have been making extensive preparations for this stage of the lockdown roadmap, including safety glass, queuing systems, social distancing signage, better ventilation, and more frequent cleaning.

Monday's rule changes in England mark the latest easing since the country's third national stay-at-home lockdown began on

January 6.

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