As the United Kingdom has witnessed a downward trend in the number of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, the government has begun to gradually relax lockdown restrictions put into place on 23 March.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told his Conservative Party MPs that he wants to return to "near-normality in July, according to the Daily Mail newspaper.

Johnson said that he would initiate "grandmother steps" to ease the restrictions taken amid the COVID-19 outbreak, but only if British citizens comply with the current lockdown measures. He also confirmed that parliament discussions will resume on 2 June.

The announcement follows Johnson's recent remarks about how coronavirus has sparked "the best in humanity" and that "good common sense" would allow the country to move towards "much-missed normality".

The British government eased coronavirus restrictions on 13 May, allowing people from two households to meet in parks, but larger gatherings are not permitted.

The measures have been taken according to a roadmap, released by the government on Monday, which outlines three steps of gradually lifting the COVID-19 lockdown. The third step, to start no earlier than 4 July, would see some businesses, including hairdressers, cinemas and pubs, re-open.

Currently, the UK is leading the coronavirus tally in Europe. The number of coronavirus-related deaths in the country rose by 468 from the previous reporting period, the Health Department said Saturday. In total, the UK has registered 240,161 coronavirus cases, including at least 34,466 fatalities.