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Coronavirus: Boris Johnson plans “full stability of the situation” by Christmas

Guidance on using public transport and going to workplaces is to be relaxed in England as lockdown restrictions are eased further, Boris Johnson has said.

The prime minister said people may use public transport for journeys immediately, while advice for employers will change from 1 August.

Mr Johnson said employers would have more discretion to bring staff back to workplaces if it was safe to do so.

The PM added he was “hoping for the best and planning for the worst”.

Mr Johnson said during a news conference at Downing Street he hoped the country would return to “significant” normality by Christmas this year.

But he said the plan “remains conditional” on the UK pulling together to win its “long fight” against Covid-19.

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In the announcement, Mr Johnson said that the government was making it clear to people in England they may use public transport now.

From 1 August, he said: “Instead of government telling people to work from home, we are going to give employers more discretion, and ask them to make decisions about how their staff can work safely.

He explained that could mean “continuing to work from home, which is one way of working safely and which has worked for many employers and employees”.

Also from 1 August, Mr Johnson said most remaining leisure settings, such as bowling alleys, skating rinks and casinos, and close-contact services such as beauticians could resume.

However, soft play areas and nightclubs will remain closed beyond that date.

From October, he said audiences will be able to return to stadia for sports and performances under the plan.

The PM also said conferences and other events can recommence from that month, adding that “these changes must be done in a Covid-secure way, subject to the successful outcome of pilots”.

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