PM welcomes return of outdoor sports as lockdown eases on Monday


oris Johnson has welcomed the return of outdoor sports as lockdown easing on Monday will see Britons enjoy more outdoor freedoms.

Outdoor sports facilities will reopen and children and adults can take part in formally organised outdoor activities.

The stay-at-home order will come to an end with people instead being instructed to “stay local”.

The Prime Minister said in a video shared on Twitter: “I want to wish the very best of luck to all the young people… everybody who I hope is going to be heading back to the football pitches, netball courts, hockey fields, BMX tracks, all other kinds of venues this week as we welcome the resumption of outdoor organised team sports.

“I know how hard it has been to be separated from your teammates and your coaches and the sports that you love.”

Mr Johnson added: “It doesn’t matter if you live and breathe it every minute of every day, or if you’re somebody who enjoys getting active just once a week.

“Sport plays a huge role in so many lives and its great to have it back.”

The Metropolitan Police warned members of the public that officers will continue to respond to gatherings which pose a serious risk to public health.

The force said officers will remain highly visible in communities as restrictions ease.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Jane Connors, leading the Met’s strategic response to Covid-19, said: “We welcome the limited relaxation of rules on Monday and thank everyone who has played a vital part in making this happen. By staying at home, it has meant the infection rate has dropped, and some freedoms can once again return.

“But we must not let Monday’s news distract us, or usher in any complacency. The risk of Covid-19 has not vanished and people across London continue to be infected with this deadly disease. Wherever possible, we should continue to be vigilant, minimise our contact as much as possible, wear a face covering where required and keep ourselves safe. That means avoiding any large gathering.

“We will continue to respond quickly to house parties or dangerous raves, taking enforcement action by handing out fines. We make no apology for our tough stance on shutting down those large gatherings which risk public safety.”

Dr Mike Tildesley, a member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Modelling group (SPI-M), the modelling subgroup of Sage, said the country was in a “good position” to ease restrictions.

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