What the papers say – February 22

PA

The front pages splash with the planned return of schools, socialising and some sports next month as part of the easing of coronavirus restrictions.

The Prime Minister will on Monday unveil a road map that uses four tests to assess the impact of each stage out of lockdown in England, according to The Times and Metro, while The Daily Telegraph says Mr Johnson has unveiled the country’s “route to normality”.

The Guardian reports the reopening of shops and hospitality businesses will come after members of the public are allowed social contact with loved ones as part of the easing of pandemic measures.

The i says the “rule of six” will return from March 29, which is also when outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts are set to reopen.

The Daily Mirror praises the “Return to the great outdoors” as it reports two people will be permitted to meet in a park for a drink from March 8 and beer gardens are to open in April.

The road map will see families reunited at the of March, when they will be allowed to meet in each other’s gardens,The Independent says.

The Sun refers to the PM’s plan as a “March to freedom”, though the Daily Mail classes it as a “Slow march” with “agony” to continue for shops, pubs and salons that remain closed.

“We’ll take it one careful step at a time”, Mr Johnson will say when he unveils the road map, according to the Daily Express.

Meanwhile, the Financial Times reports bank HSBC is accelerating its “pivot to Asia” by moving top executives from London to Hong Kong, withdrawing from retail banking in the US and planning its Singapore expansion.

And the Daily Star claims the PM’s “randy” dog Dilyn upset former Downing Street adviser Dominic Cummings by “humping his leg”.

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