England takes a baby step out of lockdown opening some junior schools and markets

Read:U.K. sets out lockdown easing plan with ‘homemade’ face masks, return to work, social ‘bubbles’

The steps are England’s most significant towards ending the lockdown which has been in place since March 23.

“From today, outdoor markets selling flowers, books, crafts, and fashion can start trading again,” Sunak said, “the next steps will be to reopen nonessential retail in mid-June, and then hospitality and leisure in early July, so these sectors can start trading once again.”

Nonessential retail outlets, including Associated British Foods ABF, +0.89% owned Primark, are expected to open on June 15.

Read:Green light for garden parties, but careful using the bathroom: England releases new guidelines for social gatherings amid lockdown

Around half of the children eligible to head back to school on Monday would stay home over safety concerns, the National Foundation for Educational Research estimates. This would mean one million children from four to 10 years old returning for the first time since March.

Meanwhile friends and families across England enjoyed the new easing of social restrictions, announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday, permitting barbecues and garden parties of up to six socially distanced people.

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