Week ahead: The end of an unprecedented first year in office for Prime Minister Boris Johnson

This week marks 12 months since Prime Minister Boris Johnson began his premiership, not quite expecting the year he has had. Laura Reid reports.

It is now 51 years since the first moon landing.

Coronavirus

More facilities are set to re-open this week in line with Government guidance as the country continues to emerge from lockdown.

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Indoor gyms, swimming pools and sports facilities in England are able to open their doors for the first time in months from July 25, which the Government says will “ensure millions of people can get back into more sport and fitness activities”.

Boris Johnsons first year as Prime Minister has been turbulent. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA

It has issued advice on cleaning, social distancing, and protection for staff to help venues get back up and running safely.

Also re-opening to the public this week are a number of the Queen’s official residences.

Windsor Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Royal Mews at Buckinghamshire Palace and The Queen’s Galleries in London and Edinburgh, as well as Royal Collection Trust shops, will all be opening their doors on Thursday.

As of Friday, wearing a face covering in shops and supermarkets will be mandatory, with those who breach the rules facing a fine of up to £100.

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And a number of publications tied to the impact of the virus are also expected this week.

Releases due to be published through the Office for National Statistics include an analysis of homeschooling during the pandemic, a look at the behaviour and mental and physical wellbeing of clinically extremely vulnerable people, who have been shielding, and early experimental data on the impact of Covid-19 on the UK economy and society.

Festival

Over in Harrogate, the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival would have been celebrating its 18th year this week.

Instead Harrogate International Festivals is running the HIF Weekender, a celebration of the arts, featuring performances and interviews with internationally acclaimed musicians, best-selling authors and innovative thinkers.

The digital festival takes place online from July 23 to 26 and will include more than 50 events.

Writing will also be the focus as the Ivor Novello Award nominations are announced on Monday.

The awards recognise creative excellence in songwriting and screen composition and were first presented in 1956.

The winners of the Ivors will be announced in September.

Anniversaries

Monday marks the 51st anniversary of the first moon landing in 1969, when Neil Armstrong took a small step for us all and in doing so left an indelible mark on human history.

It is also anniversary week for Prime Minister Boris Johnson, whose premiership began on July 24 last year.

The ensuing 12 months have certainly been turbulent.

In first speech as PM, Mr Johnson claimed his Government would “fulfil the repeated promises of parliament to the people and come out of the EU on October 31”.

It was, of course, not to be, with Brexit finally going ahead on January 31 this year more than three years after the UK voted to leave in the 2016 referendum.

When he took up post at 10 Downing Street, Mr Johnson could not then have predicted the unprecedented period that was to come.

For the past four months, he has been forced to focus his efforts on tackling the coronavirus pandemic.

The next 12 months looks set to be another challenging period.

The PM has the economic and social ramifications of lockdown to confront as well as continued negotiations over the UK’s future relationship with the EU and a potential trade deal.

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