Western Morning News

Lockdown to go on until at least March 8, says Boris

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PRIME Minister Boris Johnson abandoned plans to allow schools to reopen after February half-term yesterday, pushing back any easing of the lockdown until at least March 8.

There were 12 further deaths in Devon and Cornwall linked to Covid-19 yesterday as case rates across the region and the country continued to fall.

Government figures showed a further 1,725 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Wednesday, bringing the UK total to 101,887, while there were a further 25,308 lab-confirmed cases.

THE Chelsea Flower Show – a regular event at which Westcountr­y nurseries and garden designers show off their creations – has been postponed to September for the first time in its history as a result of the pandemic.

Organisers had hoped this year’s event could go ahead in May with additional health and safety measures to guard against coronaviru­s, including reducing numbers and adding an extra day.

But the Royal Horticultu­ral Society (RHS) has now announced the world famous flower show at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, in London, will be moved to September for the first time in its 108-year history.

The charity said it had made the decision as the Covid-19 infection rate was still very high across the UK, and there was no guarantee what tier London would be in by May.

The RHS said it had a responsibi­lity to exhibitors, visitors, volunteers and staff to delay the flower show until later in the year, when millions more people would be vaccinated and it would be more likely that levels of infection would be substantia­lly reduced.

The September flower show will keep to plans first drawn up for May, of a longer event with fewer visitors. Last year the show was cancelled for the first time outside of wartime because of the UK’s Covid-19 lockdown, and a virtual Chelsea Flower Show took place online.

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 ?? Aaron Chown ?? Crowds attend the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2019. This year’s event has been postponed and visitor numbers will be reduced
Aaron Chown Crowds attend the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2019. This year’s event has been postponed and visitor numbers will be reduced

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