HOPES for a return to normality are rising among the English public, with Boris Johnson expected to outline his plans for the coming months on Monday.

According to national media reports, certain decisions such as the return of schools have already been made – with children expected to be back in the classroom by March 8.

But what about other things? When will you be allowed to see a friend, visit the pub or go shopping?

It is expected that families from two different households will be permitted to meet outdoors by next month, meaning people can gather in gardens and parks.

At the same time care home residents will be allowed one visitor, who will be allowed to hold their hands.

Hairdressers and non-essential shops in England could start opening towards the end of March according to the report.

Meanwhile as of yet there are no plans to re-open the hospitality industry though the PM is being urged to consider a swifter easing of restrictions for pubs and restaurants than had originally been planned.

A senior Whitehall source told the Daily Telegraph: "What the public is longing for more than anything is seeing family members and loved ones. It's been a very long time and a difficult year."

The newspaper reports that Number 10 is concerned about the impact lockdown has had on families kept apart from each other.

Latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that the number of people infected with Covid had dropped by 30 per cent in a week and the virus 'R' rate had fallen again.

All schools in England are expected to be allowed to open on March 8.

But this does not guarantee that all pupils will go back that day as some schools may choose to stagger class returns.

The lifting of restrictions will be "cautious" in the hope that it can be "irreversible", according to the report.