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Johnson confirmed to lawmakers that on December 2 the government will lift the stay-at-home instruction introduced earlier this month to curb a further increase in coronavirus cases. Stores, gyms, personal care businesses, and leisure facilities will be allowed to reopen, and corporate worship, weddings, and outdoor sports may resume. Fans will also be able to return to sports arenas for the first time since March.
Johnson confirmed to lawmakers that the country’s blockade will be lifted on December 2. Pictured: A member of the public walks through Piccadilly Circus on November 23, 2020 in London, England. (Getty)

Johnson said that “the scientific cavalry is now in sight,” and advances in massive testing and vaccines should eliminate the need for closings by spring. But first, he said, “we must get through the winter without the virus getting out of control and wasting our hard-earned profits.”

He said England’s lockdown will be replaced by regional measures involving three levels of restrictions based on the scale of the outbreak in different areas. The measures have been tightened slightly from a similar system that was put in place last month because government scientific advisers say those measures weren’t enough to stop the virus from spreading.

On the upper level, pubs and restaurants must close except for take-out and delivery. In other areas they will have to close at 11pm.

On the lower two levels, indoor and outdoor spectator sports can be resumed with capacity limits.

The rules apply to England. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own restrictions.

A person wearing a face mask walks past a temporarily closed souvenir shop on Oxford Street, during the second coronavirus shutdown in England, in London on November 23, 2020. (AP)

People will have to wait until updated data is released later in the week to find out what level their local area will be at, but the government says most of the country is likely to be in the top two levels.

In those areas, households will be prohibited from mixing indoors, but the government plans to loosen the rules during the Christmas period.

Johnson said people will be allowed to “see more of their family and friends over Christmas,” though he did not elaborate.

In common with others European countries, British authorities introduced restrictions on daily life to combat the sudden increase in cases.

The UK has had the deadliest COVID-19 outbreak in Europe, with more than 55,000 deaths among people who tested positive.

– Reported with Associated Press

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