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Lockdown set to ‘lift rapidly’ after schools reopen with pubs ‘open late April’

New plan suggests ‘a desire to reopen rapidly in the weeks after schools readmit most children next month’

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While Boris Johnson will be revealing his ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown on Monday, February 22nd, reports of what we could expect have been leaking.

The prime minister is awaiting the latest evidence regarding the vaccine’s effect on both hospital admissions and deaths, which is expected to be delivered to him today.

Mr Johnson said this week that the easing of restrictions should happen in stages, in an ‘irreversible’ way, with a focus on evidence rather than sticking to deadlines to lift lockdown.

However, a new Whitehall blueprint for a timetable has emerged, and according to this plan pubs would reopen by late April as well as some sporting venues, with entertainment venues following in early May, Sky News reports.

No10 / Flickr

The prime minister is still hoping the March 8th date will be used for kids to return to school, with the return of pupils the starting point for the gradual easing of restrictions.

According to Sky News the timetable suggests ‘a desire to reopen rapidly in the weeks after schools readmit most children next month’.

The blueprint suggests higher education and further education students might return in mid-April, with non-essential shops also opening again around this time.

Next would be hospitality venues, hotels, leisure facilities and some sporting venues, which according to these reports would reopen in late April, followed by entertainment venues and sporting facilities in early May.



It’s understood that this proposal, which has been devised by officials, hasn’t yet been signed off by the prime minister, and will only go ahead if Covid rates continue to decline across the country.

According to reports in the Mail earlier this week, the easing of restrictions will take place in ‘four-weekly intervals’, with the route out of lockdown seeing the UK ‘broadly’ back to normal by July.

Mr Johnson said on Wednesday that he’ll undertake a ‘cautious and prudent approach’ to gradually taking England out of lockdown.

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Operation Forth Bridge: the full plan for what happens next after Prince Philip’s death

Buckingham Palace confirmed the sad news of his passing earlier today

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Michael Garnett / Flickr

Buckingham Palace announced this afternoon that HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh has died.

The 99-year-old, who would have celebrated his 100th birthday in June, passed away peacefully at Windsor Castle this morning, Friday April 9th.

Buckingham Palace said: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

“His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.

“Further announcements will be made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”

There were already strict procedures put in place for when Prince Philip died, which have now begun, and they’re known as Operation Forth Bridge.

According to the plan there are several steps that need to be followed, including everything from national mourning to a burial site for the Duke.

Operation Forth Bridge has been around for many years, with Buckingham Palace, in consultation with both the Queen and Prince Philip, regularly updating and reviewing it.

Part one of the operation was the announcement from Buckingham Palace confirming the death of the Duke, which was distributed to the Press Association and BBC first.

Then the country enters a period of national mourning, meaning a set of rules, like flags being flown at half-mast, must be followed.

According to reports, it’s thought newsreaders and other TV presenters must wear black out of respect.

Jamie McCaffrey / Flickr

Next, plans for the funeral will be drawn up, and while Prince Philip is entitled to a state funeral he reportedly wanted something more discreet – a private service in the style of a military funeral at St George’s Chapel in Windsor, followed by burial at Frogmore Gardens.

The funeral is still expected to be televised despite the current restrictions, although it remains unclear how many people will be able to attend it.

The Queen’s private secretary and senior adviser, Sir Edward Young, will be on hand to help her during the undoubtedly challenging days ahead.

As well as being responsible for supporting the Queen in her duties, Sir Edward is also the channel of communication between the Queen and the government.

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Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, has died aged 99

NEWS JUST IN

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Jamie McCaffrey / Flickr

Prince Philip has died aged 99, Buckingham Palace has confirmed today.

A tweet on The Royal Family Twitter account announced the news.

The Duke of Edinburgh was born 1921, and was married to Queen Elizabeth II for more than 70 years – officially the longest-serving consort in British history.

The official announcement read: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

“His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.

“Further announcements will be made in due course.

“The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”

There’s been no official details about the Duke’s funeral released yet, however it has been reported that he will be given a royal ceremonial funeral rather than a state funeral, in line with his wishes.

 

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Hairdressers told not to offer ‘long’ treatments like highlights when they reopen

Hmmm…

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Favaro JR. Favaro Junior / Flickr

Salons have been told not to offer ‘long’ treatments when they reopen on Monday, including things like highlights or braids.

To reduce the time customers spend being seen, the government is advising hairdressers to keep things ‘short and basic’.

According to government guidance, hair and beauty salons ‘should consider providing shorter, more basic treatments to keep the time to a minimum’.

Erin van V / Flickr

People across the country have been looking forward to finally having their hair sorted out, after months without access to hairdressers and barbers due to lockdown.

In England salons will be able to reopen on Monday, April 12th, but some people will be gutted to discover they might not be able to book anything considered a ‘long’ or ‘complex’ procedure.

Things like highlights, braids or deep conditioning treatments could be classed as ‘long’ procedures, and lengthy massages might also be off the cards.

The official guidance goes on to say that if you are to perform a longer treatment, then workers should ‘consider how the length of the appointment could be minimised’.

adorn hairdressers / Flickr

Ministers have branded the rules ‘slapdash’, and there’s been calls for further clarity.

Labour MP Judith Cummins, who co-chairs Parliament’s group on beauty, aesthetics and wellbeing, told The Telegraph: “It’s very difficult to make a living if you’re given guidance that is very woolly and very unclear.

“What’s a short appointment, and what’s the medium appointment, and what’s a long appointment?

“I’ve got no idea, and I doubt whether the Government has any idea either.”

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