In his address to the nation on Sunday, Boris Johnson thanked pharmacists for their ‘devotion and self-sacrifice’ throughout Covid-19 pandemic so far.

The PM outlined plans to reopen society within the coming months, as well as thanking various key workers - including pharmacists - for their ‘devotion and self-sacrifice’ that is ‘helping us to beat this disease’.

This is notable after the government initially left pharmacy teams out of the NHS life assurance scheme - saying that they would only be covered in exceptional circumstances. This caused a stir among the sector and led to the government revising their position.

In his speech, the PM announced the introduction of a Covid Alert System with five coloured levels, which from now on would govern at what pace lockdown restrictions could be eased or tightened up.

In the first stage, easing measures, which will be launched on Wednesday, will involve ‘encouraging people’ to take more outdoor exercise. Which includes sitting in the sun in their local park, driving to other destinations and playing sports with members of the household.

The second stage, which the PM hopes to begin ‘at the earliest by 1 June’, will involve reopening shops and getting primary pupils back into schools in stages.

He said he plans to start step three in July at the earliest, ‘subject to scientific advice’, which will involve reopening parts of the hospitality industry and other public places, ‘provided they are safe and enforce social distancing,’ the PM said.