Boris Johnson says the UK is taking “the first careful steps” in easing the coronavirus lockdown – with people in England allowed to spend more leisure time outside from Wednesday.

In a pre-recorded address to the nation, the prime minister said the government wants to “encourage people to take more and even unlimited amounts of outdoor exercise” – provided they stick to social distancing guidelines and stay two metres apart.

And in a bid to kickstart the economy, Mr Johnson said anyone who cannot work from home – such as those in construction and manufacturing – should be “actively encouraged” to go to work from tomorrow.

During the address to the nation, Mr Johnson also said:

He believes children could gradually return to primary school from 1 June at the earliest – beginning with reception, Year 1 and Year 6

At least some of the hospitality industry and other public places could begin to reopen in July at the earliest “if and only if the numbers support it.
“It will soon be the time” to impose quarantine on people coming into the UK by air

The UK’s COVID-19 reproduction rate, also known as R, is between 0.5 and 0.9, “but potentially only just below one”

The lockdown measures “prevented this country from being engulfed by what could have been a catastrophe in which the reasonable worst-case scenario was half a million fatalities”

On a new five-stage COVID Alert Level, where one means the disease is no longer present and five is the most critical, the UK is currently at level four and “in a position to begin to move in steps to level three”