Britain’s leader outlines a cautious plan to reopen England.


LONDON — Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain is expected to confirm on Monday that schools in England will reopen on March 8 and that people will be allowed to socialize outdoors on March 29, the first steps in a long-awaited reopening plan after a nationwide lockdown prompted by a highly contagious variant of the coronavirus.

Mr. Johnson’s “road map” is intended to give an exhausted country a path back to normalcy after a dire period in which infections skyrocketed, hospitals overflowed with patients, and the death toll surged past 100,000. At the same time, Britain rolled out a remarkably successful vaccination program, injecting 15 million people with their first doses.

That milestone, combined with a steep decline in new cases and hospital admissions, paved the way for Mr. Johnson’s announcement. But the prime minister has emphasized repeatedly that he planned to move slowly in reopening the economy, saying that he wanted this lockdown to be the last the nation had to endure.

Under the government’s plan, pubs, restaurants, retail shops, and gyms in England will stay closed for at least another month — meaning that, as a practical matter, daily life will not change much for millions of people.

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