Brits may be able to hug all their friends and family by Christmas as PM signals 'return to more normality by November'

BORIS Johnson has said you may be able to hug all your family and friends by Christmas.

The optimistic Prime Minister told Brits any return to normality is "all conditional on our ability to defeat the virus".

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Speaking from Downing Street, Mr Johnson said: "More close contact between friends and family where we can.

"It is my strong and sincere hope that we will be able to review the restrictions and allow a return to more normality by November, possibly in time for Christmas."

The news came as a huge step in easing lockdown after Brits were ordered to stay home in March.

However, the PM warned that all this could be scrapped if there is a second wave this winter.

He cautiously told Brits eager to hug their family that "we have a plan where we hope for the best and plan for the worst".

The announcement came during a sweeping speech where Boris unveiled a series of measures to get Britain working.

They included:

  • Handing councils powers to shut pubs and cafés without going to Government first through "lightning lockdowns"
  • Insisting public transport is safe again as Brits can go back on trains and buses after coronavirus crash
  • Giving the NHS an extra £3billion so hospitals are "battle ready" for winter
  • Setting a target of 500,000 tests a day by the end of October
  • Putting a time frame on social distancing so the nation can finally have a hug

This morning Mr Johnson ditched his work-from-home slogan and urged bosses to get Brits back to the office.

The PM called for the nation to return to “near-normal” from August 1 to help boost Britain’s ailing economy which has been ravaged by the pandemic.

He has also told Brits it is safe to take public transport again in England.

Mr Johnson said in a statement today: "In England from today we are making clear that anybody can use public transport while encouraging people to consider alternative means of transport where they're available."

From August 1, casinos, leisure centres and bowling alleys in England will be allowed to reopen.

Mr Johnson added that ice-skaing rinks will also reopen and close contact services at beauticians will be able to resume.

Nigthclubs and soft play areas will unforunately have to stay closed.

He also handed councils the power to strike quickly at any spike in coronavirus cases.

Mr Johnson announced that from Saturday councils will have the powers to shut pubs and cafés without going to Government first.

The rules could even allow town hall bosses to ban weddings and other gatherings at short notice.

Leicester became the first city to go into a local lockdown, and now councils will have the power to swoop as soon as necessary elsewhere.

Mr Johnson has set a target of 500,000 tests a day by the end of October so flare-ups can be dealt with swiftly.

He has given the NHS an extra cash injection £3billion so hospitals are “battle ready” for winter.

Coronavirus restrictions only started to ease in May as the government was desperate to save the economy while keeping the death rate down.

In May, it grew by 1.8 per cent – GDP has not yet recovered from record falls in March and April and is still down 24.5 per cent compared to pre-coronavirus levels in February.

The UK economy fell by 5.8 per cent in March as coronavirus lockdown triggered a crash in activity.

GDP then plunged by 20.4 per cent in April – the biggest monthly fall on record.



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