As we approach Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s address to the nation on Sunday, more and more details are emerging out about what Britain will look like after lockdown. Today, Health Secretary Matt Hancock hinted that cafés might begin operating relatively soon, provided they can use outdoor space. “There may be workarounds that some businesses, for instance cafés, especially over the summer, may be able to put into place,” he told Sky News.
Perhaps more significantly, he gave some hope to the 1.5 million people “clinically extremely vulnerable” that they would not be completely locked down until a vaccine was ready. If new cases go “right down”, the government “may well be able to release some of those measures” for this group before a vaccine was rolled out, he said.
On the continent, the European Union economy is set to contract by 7.4 per cent this year and unemployment will reach nearly 10 per cent, the European Commission has said. It would mark the deepest recession in Europe since the Great Depression. Greece, the worst-affected nation, could see unemployment hit 20 per cent.
But there was better news in the Balkan states this morning, as Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania announced they will open borders to one another from 15 May.