The prime minister’s “stay at home” instruction to the country will end a week on Wednesday, following a month of tougher national instructions.
Under his 56-page COVID Winter Plan, which Mr Johnson revealed to the House of Commons on today, the national shutdown will be replaced by a new version of the tiered system of restrictions that preceded it.
He told MPs that the plan “is designed to carry us safely to spring”, while he said the “scientific cavalry is in sight” as he praised advances in testing, treatment and vaccines.
Johnson setting out the new guidance said non-essential shops and gyms can open in all three tiers. Outdoor sports can also resume.
However, pubs and restaurants will face the harshest of the new measures, with hospitality venues in the new Tier 3 only allowed to offer takeaways.
No decisions have yet been taken on which tier London will be placed in, but it appears the capital is headed for Tier 2. It comes as the number of new Covid cases in London begins to fall, raising hopes that the second peak may be starting to end.
This comes after a coronavirus vaccine developed in the UK by AstraZeneca and Oxford University has been hailed after trials showed it can prevent up to 90 per cent of people from getting Covid-19.
“By the spring these advances should reduce the need for the restrictions we have endured in 2020 and make the whole concept of a Covid lockdown redundant,” the prime minister said.