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What the papers say after Boris Johnson unveils plan to ease lockdown

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 23/02/2021 April Roach

Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown dominated headlines across the UK this morning.

The Prime Minister announced on Monday in the Commons a number of key dates for the reopening of schools, pubs, hospitality, travel and weddings.

The long-awaited speech saw holiday bookings surge as it was revealed that hotels can reopen and foreign travel will be permitted from May 17 at the earliest.

Brits also took to social media to share memes and tweets as they celebrated Mr Johnson’s tentative plans to see restrictions curbs on social contact lift by June 21 with the remaining elements of the hospitality sector - such as nightclubs - allowed to open.

Here we take a look at how the papers responded to the news.

The Guardian led with the Prime Minister’s comment that he hoped the roadmap would be “incomparably better” than life in lockdown.

The key dates of the Government’s plan for easing restrictions featured on the Daily Star’s front page with a note to what the newspaper described as the Prime Minister’s “vaguely sensible” plan for easing restrictions.

The Financial Times focused on the final date of when all curbs should be lifted on June 21 with a throwforward to what can be expected of Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s budget.

The Times, The Metro, the Independent and The Daily Mirror all led with the Prime Minister’s claim that the end “really is in sight” for the summer.

A countdown of “118 days until freedom” was the headline on the Daily Telegraph’s front page as the Sun featured a similar headline with an image of an exploding lock signalling the end of “the wait”.

While the i newspaper focused on the four phases of the roadmap plan.

The Daily Mail led with one question: “What are we waiting for?”

The newspaper’s lead story suggested the months-long plan would take too long to ease restrictions as hospitality bosses have warned thousands of firms would be “condemned to death” by enforced closure.

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