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Coronavirus: Boris Johnson expected to outline lockdown exit strategy ‘later this week’

Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Boris Johnson is expected to outline a lockdown exit plan “later this week”, Downing Street has confirmed.

Number 10 said “extensive work” had now taken place on easing certain restrictions, with a “family and friends scheme” or “social bubble scheme” one of the options being considered.

The proposal – similar to one being analysed by Belgium – would permit people to meet a select group of friends and family.

Asked if the UK Government was considering such a scheme, a Downing Street spokesman said: “We have said that there is extensive work going on in government to look at the next phase of the coronavirus response.

“We have also talked about how we could relax measures in some areas and toughen in others.

“We’re very alive to the issue of social isolation and the need for mental wellbeing as people help us to deal with spread of this pandemic.”

The spokesman insisted that any policy would be “based on scientific and medical advice”.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

The comments come after Nicola Sturgeon said on Friday that a family and friends scheme was one of the things the Scottish Government was “trying to work through”.

She said: “If you’re seeing maybe one or two more people outside your household, it’s got to be the same people on a day-to-day, week-to-week basis so you’re still limiting the ability for the virus to transmit.

“Now, none of these are fixed decisions yet, but these are all the kind of things we’re trying to work through.

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