Week Ahead: Lockdown lifting, 'Megxit' marked, Easter week and April Fools' Day

Lockdown restrictions are eased, Easter Week is marked and gullible folk must keep their wits about them on April Fools’ Day. John Blow looks at the week ahead.

Chief medical officer Chris Whitty. Photo by Tolga Akmen - WPA Pool/Getty Images.

Lockdown lifting

A sigh of relief can be enjoyed as the latest wave of coronavirus restrictions are lifted across the country tomorrow.

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Outdoor gatherings of either six people or two households will be allowed, including in private gardens, meaning families can see each other.

Meanwhile, outside sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts will be allowed to reopen, and people can take part in formally organised outdoor sports.

The “stay at home order” will end, although many lockdown restrictions will remain.

The Government says that people should continue to work from home where possible, and overseas travel remains banned, apart for a small number of reasons.

The next series of rule relaxations are due to come on April 12 - should certain criteria continue to be met - with businesses such as non-essential retailers allowed to re-open.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has promised a memorial to those who have died in the pandemic, said the nation is “step by step, jab by jab” on the path to “reclaiming our freedoms” during the anniversary of the first lockdown last week.

But England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty warned there would be “bumps and twists on the road”, possibly including the emergence of new variants and shortages in vaccine supplies.

However the success of the vaccination rollout meant that when a new surge happens, it will be met with a “wall of vaccinated people” which will significantly reduce the ratio between the number of cases and the resulting death toll.

Marking ‘Megxit’

The Anniversary of so-called “Megxit”, when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex quit as senior royals in 2020, falls on Wednesday.

Harry and Meghan ceased to be working royals and stopped using their HRH titles.

Of course much has happened since then, as the fallout continues.

The couple’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey in the US caused a huge clamour.

Easter week

Christians will continue to mark events as part of Easter this week.

These include Maundy Thursday, which marks the night of the Last Supper, when traditions include the Pope washing and kissing the feet of 12 people and the Queen giving coins called

Maundy money to senior citizens during the Ceremony of the Royal Maundy. It is also known as Holy Thursday.

Good Friday, which is also a Bank Holiday in the UK, is the day when Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ as told in the Bible.

Easter Sunday follows, the day when his resurrection is marked.

York Minster will be among places of worship livestreaming Easter services on its website and YouTube channel, however it has been offering tickets for a number of ceremonies which will be held under socially distanced conditions.

April Fools

The more gullible among us should also have our wits about us on Thursday morning as April arrives.

Traditionally, practical jokes and hoaxes are customary until noon on April Fools’ Day in the UK as people enjoy catching each other out - particularly family members.

This also means that The Yorkshire Post needs to be on its guard when receiving its regular tip-offs from readers...