Social distancing measures could remain in place until the autumn, it has been reported.

The news comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson prepares to reveal his "roadmap" to lifting coronavirus restrictions later this month.

The Times reported this morning that the government's lockdown exit plans are "based on the assumption that people will have to wear face masks and remain a metre apart for months", adding that scientists believe these measures may need to remain in place until the end of the year.

A Whitehall source told the publication that businesses looking to reopen would "need to be Covid-secure".

Face masks are compulsory on London buses unless exempt

Face masks are compulsory on public transport unless exempt

Good Morning Britain provided further details on when certain businesses could be allowed to open their doors over the coming months, through the easing of lockdown measures.

The broadcaster reported that "shops could open in April" and "pubs might open in May", with further details on the proposed reopening of schools on March 8 due next week.

In recent weeks, the Prime Minister and other ministers have said the "roadmap" out of lockdown will be published on February 22.

However, yesterday, Downing Street implied the Prime Minister misspoke, with the roadmap set to arrive in the week beginning February 22.

The move could mean the day earmarked for schools reopening, March 8, could be delayed as the government has promised school leaders at least two weeks notice.

PA REVIEW OF THE YEAR 2020 .File photo dated 09/06/20 of a man wearing a protective face mask walking past signage advising the use of face coverings, near Tower Bridge, London, following the introduction of measures to bring England out of lockdown. PA

The use of face coverings and social distancing is expected to continue for months, it has been reported

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We’ve been clear we will publish the roadmap on the week of the 22nd.

“We will set out the roadmap that week but you’ve got what we’ve said previously about trying to give schools as much notice as possible and we’ve said we’ll give at least two weeks.”

The third national lockdown will officially be reviewed on February 15.