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UK's Johnson eyes relaxation of COVID lockdown, extra spending

Sat, 6th Jun 2020 22:39

LONDON, June 6 (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris
Johnson is planning to relax rules on outdoor dining and
weddings, as well as speeding up government investment plans in
a bid to limit the economic damage from the coronavirus,
newspapers reported on Saturday.

The Sunday Times said Johnson wanted to relax planning
restrictions that stop many pubs, cafes and restaurants from
using outside areas, and also to make it legal to hold weddings
outside - something currently limited to Jews and Quakers.

Indoor weddings and funerals with up to 10 people attending
would also be permitted from early July, while places of worship
would be allowed to reopen for private prayer from June 15, as
part of plans to be announced in the coming week, the newspaper
said.

"Boris wants us back to normal, or as near to it as
possible, before the summer," the newspaper quoted a senior
source as saying, adding the prime minister was concerned about
forecasts of a sharp rise in unemployment.

A spokeswoman for Johnson's Downing Street office had no
immediate comment on the report.

Separately, the Sunday Telegraph said Johnson planned to
announce in the coming weeks that the government would speed up
road improvements and the construction of 40 new hospitals it
had promised before last December's election.

"Now is the time to be even more ambitious with his plans to
unite and level up the country," a government source was quoted
as telling the Sunday Telegraph.
(Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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