Boris Johnson has laid out the country’s four-stage exit from national lockdown. The first phase will see schools reopen on March 8, hospitality will be able to serve outside from April 12, non-essential retail will reopen on May 17 and - if all goes to plan, all restrictions on social contact will be removed after June 21.
It will be down to judgement, the health secretary Matt Hancock told BBC Radio 4’s Today show. The government plans to assess the effect of each step before making a final decision. Fundamentally, they make no guarantees that this is the end.
It’s cautious, measured - even, one dares to hope - realistic. Not words we’ve come to associate with Johnson’s coronavirus response, which in large parts has been flawed.