BRITS will be able to nip into friends’ homes and even the pub to go to the loo when outdoor lockdown rules are lifted.
No 10 confirmed today that short toilet breaks will be allowed once restrictions are relaxed in England.
Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates…
That will start with other people’s homes on March 29, when outdoor mixing with friends is permitted once again.
It will then be extended to professional premises like pubs once they reopen, which is set to be on April 12.
People will be expected to wear a mask and to maintain social distancing at all times when heading indoors to spend a penny.
The revelation comes after Boris Johnson had to fight off calls to go faster with the easing of lockdown.
Even Neil Ferguson – known as Prof Lockdown – said the PM should be prepared to speed up his roadmap if the data allows.
But Boris slapped him down during a visit to a school today.
He said: “Some people will say we’re going to be going too fast, some people will say we’re going too slow.”
The PM outlined his four-stage roadmap to the nation yesterday.
Schools will open to pupils from March 8, and one-on-one leisure outside will be allowed.
From the end of the month outdoor sport will reopen and people can meet in groups of six outside and the ‘stay at home’ message binned.
In April, hairdressers, gyms and shops will reopen, and in May all indoor activities like cinemas and bowling alleys will be able to return, and hotels can reopen.
Pubs can serve outside from April and inside from May.
By June 21 the PM hopes all restrictions can be lifted.
But he faced grumblings from senior Tories and even previously cautious scientists who said he should go even faster and further.
Steve Baker MP said last night: “Today’s pace of change will be a hammer blow to aviation, pubs, restaurants, hotels, gyms & pools, the arts and entertainment. Once again, it seems to be modelling not data driving decisions.”
Former chief whip Mark Harper told LBC earlier that the Government was understating the huge success of the rollout.
The Forest of Dean MP said: “The biggest flaw is they assume a very low uptake of the vaccine.
“We know the uptake of the vaccine is over 90 per cent in the top groups that have been vaccinated, above 95 per cent, they’ve assumed 15 per cent of the population don’t take the vaccine.
“I have two problems with that, one is that isn’t realistic, that’s not what’s happening, but secondly there is a real question about whether the rest of the country should be held back for two months because some people choose not to take the vaccine.”
He added: “The Government seems to have looked at some models with dodgy assumptions and have effectively delayed opening the country by two months.”
And even Prof Ferguson, who called for the lockdown approach in the first place, suggested it may be possible.
The lockdown architect broke cover to declare: “If we’re in best case scenario where vaccine effectiveness is greater than estimates… there’s always potential of accelerating rate of relaxation.”
But Matt Hancock, No10 and the PM pushed back on their demands.
Today the PM described his plan as a “sensible and prudent” approach – and said he wanted it to be “irreversible” with no way back into lockdown.
The PM has been boosted by snap polls showing the public largely backs his stance, with 46 per cent telling YouGov it is about right.
He stressed: “We open up on June, the 21st in a way that I don’t think people would really have thought possible, had it not been for the rollout of the vaccinations.
“It’s those vaccinations that massive programme, led by the NHS that has made all the difference.”
He added: “I am very optimistic that we will be able to get there.”
But he vowed that “nothing can be guaranteed” in the current climate and it depends on people following the rules in each stage.
The “immense possibilities” of the vaccine rollout would help put a “shield around our population”.