On Tuesday, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics, the United Kingdom overtook Italy to report the highest official death toll from the new coronavirus in Europe, prompting fresh questions over its approach.
After more than six weeks of lockdown, Britain will review its stringent social distancing measures on Thursday, and set out details of its plan for the next phase on Sunday.
Officials suggest there will be a gradual move towards re-opening businesses.
The Times reported the government has drawn up a three-stage plan to ease the lockdown, with the first involving small shops reopening alongside outdoor workplaces.
Large shopping centres would be in the second phase with more people encouraged to go into work, and pubs, restaurants, hotels and leisure centres would be among the last to open, it said.
“This is not going to be a case of flicking a switch and people will have to prepare for a different type of normal,” the prime minister’s spokesman said.
“We will obviously want to ensure that any easements that we do make are carefully monitored and we aren’t doing things which risk increasing the rate of infection.”
Source: Reuters UK