Week ahead: Lockdown restrictions to ease and people urged to mark NHS birthday

As more lockdown restrictions are eased in the week of the NHS’ birthday, people are being urged to remember those lost and thank key workers. Laura Reid reports.

A final clap is due to be held next weekend to mark the NHS' birthday.

Coronavirus

Wednesday this weeks marks 100 days since Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the nation, ordering people to ‘stay at home’ as the coronavirus lockdown began.

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It’s also six months since the World Health Organisation were alerted to cases in Wuhan, China, with reports on December 31 initially referring to a cluster of cases of pneumonia.

Katie Price is due to speak to a parliamentary committee inquiry into online abuse. Photo: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

The novel coronavirus - Covid-19 - was eventually identified.

From Saturday, more lockdown restrictions will be eased in England. Pubs, restaurants and hairdressers will be able to reopen, providing they adhere to Government criteria designed to keep staff and customers as safe as possible.

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Minutes' silence and a final clap for carers on NHS birthday weekend

Two households will also be able to meet up, inside or out, adhering to social distancing measures and people will be able to stay overnight at places including campsites and hotels.

Some leisure, cultural and tourist attractions including cinemas, museums, theme parks, outdoor playgrounds, libraries, community centres and places of worship can also re-open “if they can do so safely”.

But nightclubs, indoor gyms, swimming pools, bowling alleys and spas will be among those remaining closed, at least for now.

Brexit

An “intensified” round of Brexit talks will get underway in Brussels tomorrow, with discussions focusing on the future relationship between the UK and the EU.

The Prime Minister’s senior Brexit adviser has signalled the phase will be tough. David Frost also insisted UK sovereignties over laws, courts and fishing waters was “not up for discussion”.

Racing

Two more landmarks will be reached as horse racing’s resumption gathers pace.

The first is the return of National Hunt racing - Wednesday’s jumps fixture at Southwell will be the first over obstacles since Wetherby’s meeting on March 17.

Meanwhile the Derby, the most celebrated Flat race of all, will take place at Epsom on Saturday behind closed doors.

It will be a Classic day - the Oaks is also on the same card - but there will be no crowds on the iconic Tattenham Hill cheering the runners and riders.

Online abuse

Katie Price is due to speak to the House of Commons’ Petitions Committee on Thursday, as it carries out an inquiry into online abuse.

The inquiry is considering issues raised in a number of petitions and is a follow up to a previous inquiry into online abuse and the experiences of disabled people.

It comes as people have been spending more time online, as a result of restrictions on everyday living brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

NHS Anniversary

Sunday marks the anniversary of the founding of the NHS in 1948. People are being asked to remember those lost during the coronavirus pandemic bu putting a light in their window on the evening of July 4.

The mark of respect will be followed by “a moment of thanks and connection” the next day, when there will be one last country-wide clap for the NHS, care staff and all key workers, after which, people will be encouraged to stay out to raise a glass or have a cup of tea with their neighbours.

Organisers hope people will celebrate the health system’s birthday by saying a big “thank you” to everyone who has supported them through the past few months, including friends and family.

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