The Government wants to see intimate contact between friends and families “restored”, with more people able to meet indoors as the easing of lockdown continues, according to Michael Gove.
Speaking to BBC’s Andrew Marr show, the Cabinet Office minister said that, despite the emergence of new variants, the government’s road map to ease restrictions is on track.
“All being well, the Prime Minister will confirm tomorrow that there will be a relaxation, we’ve already indicated a proportionate relaxation on international travel, very limited at this stage because we have to be safe,” he said.
“In the same way, as we move into stage three of our road map it will be the case that we will see people capable of meeting indoors.
“And without prejudice to a broader review of social distancing, it is also the case that friendly contact, intimate contact, between friends and family is something we want to see restored.”
The head of the Oxford University vaccine group also said he believes that it is the right time to start easing restrictions in England, thanks to the “extraordinary success” of both the vaccination programme and the “prolonged” lockdown.
But Prof Andew Pollard also warned that Britain is in an “very fortunate” position – elsewhere, the pandemic is surging to new heights.
“We’re facing an absolute calamity,” Prof Pollard said, pointing to research which shows that around 30,000 people around the world will die from Covid-19 today alone.
He urged wealthy governments to share available vaccine supplies with the rest of the world, rather than plan booster shots for Britons in the autumn.
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