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England to open shops, gyms and outdoor pubs, PM Johnson says

FILE PHOTO: A person walks past closed shops, a year since the first British lockdown began due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, London, Britain, March 23, 2021. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday a planned reopening of the economy would take place next week, with the opening of all shops, gyms, hairdressers and outdoor hospitality areas in England.

With the vaccine programme rolling out rapidly across the UK and infection numbers falling, Johnson said England would proceed to Stage 2 of his roadmap out of lockdown from April 12. Johnson said he would go to the pub himself for a pint.

People should continue to work from home when they could and minimise domestic travel, the government said. It also confirmed that the government was looking at a COVID-status certification system, or vaccine passport, to help reopen larger events.

Reporting by Kate Holton; Guy Faulconbridge

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