British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will soon set out plans to "rebuild Britain" in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, amid reports he wants to ease lockdown restrictions quickly to save millions of jobs.

Mr Johnson is expected to use a major speech to effectively re-launch the Conservatives' domestic agenda after the UK government's attention turned to the Covid-19 crisis, during which the Tories' poll rating has plummeted.

Mr Johnson will this week chair a meeting of his Cabinet to update them on the next lockdown-easing steps for a number of sectors, which are expected to take effect from 15 June.

The Sunday Times reported that Mr Johnson will unveil plans to ease restrictions on weddings and funerals from next month, as well as possible measures to reopen hairdressers before 4 July.

The paper reports that Mr Johnson has told Transport Secretary Grant Shapps to secure "travel corridor" deals with holiday hotspots by 28 June.

Downing Street announced last night that churches and other places of worship are set to open for private prayer from 15 June, but worship groups, weddings and other services will still not be permitted.

Mr Johnson is said to have signed off on plans to reopen the economy after being warned by Business Secretary Alok Sharma that a failure to reopen the hospitality sector could cost 3.5 million jobs. Mr Johnson reportedly replied: "Christ!"

However, there are concerns that the reproduction rate of the coronavirus is dangerously high - with a report by Public Health England and Cambridge University placing the R value just above 1 in the North West.


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If R is 1 or higher, the virus will spread exponentially through the population, while a value less than 1 indicates the virus is in decline.

The Sunday Telegraph, meanwhile, reported that the prime minister would outline plans to accelerate major infrastructure projects - including pledges to build 40 new hospitals and key road upgrades - in a speech in the coming weeks.

Mr Johnson is also said to want to fast-track recruitment campaigns for doctors and nurses to increase the NHS's resilience before the winter.

A Whitehall source told the paper that "getting the immediate crisis under control remains Mr Johnson's main focus", but said the Government is "also preparing for tough economic times ahead".