Coronavirus news – live: Rishi Sunak announces changes to furlough scheme as No 10 admits alert level remains ‘high’

Samuel Osborne, Vincent Wood
10 Downing Street/AFP via Getty

Socially distanced gatherings of up to six people will be allowed in outdoor spaces in England from Monday, Boris Johnson has announced as part of plans to gradually ease the country’s lockdown.

The prime minister confirmed all five tests required to move to the next stage had been met, schools to begin reopening and greater contact to be permitted from next week.

It comes as Bank of England rate maker Michael Saunders warned Britain’s economy is unlikely to recover in the next two to three years, in the gloomiest medium-term assessment from a UK policymaker so far.

And Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, has unveiled changes to the furlough scheme and the self employed grant that will see both wrapped up after eight months.

Follow the latest updates