Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a three-step plan to ease out of the lockdown.
The new measures, which have been deemed by many as containing mixed messages, has changed the emphasis from ‘stay home’ to ‘stay alert’.
In essence, the government says that you must stay at home as much as possible and only go to work if your work cannot be done from home. Contact with others outside your household should still be avoided, as should keeping two metres apart when out, while hand washing regularly should be continued.
Step One – 13th May
• Wear a face-covering in enclosed spaces
• Only meet one person from outside household
• Drive to open spaces irrespective of distance
• Travel to work if workplace open
• Avoid public transport where possible
Step Two – Earliest 1 June
• Phased return for nurseries and schools
• Hope all primary pupils to return before summer
• Non-essential retail to open when safe
• Sport & cultural events behind closed doors
• Measures to facilitate small weddings
Step Three – Earliest 4 July
Re-open all remaining businesses including…
• Hairdressers, beauty salons
• Pubs, hotels
• Leisure facilities including cinemas
Johnson’s ‘roadmap’ for moving out of lockdown comes seven weeks after announcing the lockdown and comes into force on Wednesday.
However, the new guidance only applies in England – those living in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have been advised by the government to follow the specific rules in those parts of the UK.
Johnson also made clear that each step would only be entered on the proviso that the data collected shows that this is viable. Downing Street has suggested that it will monitor the R rate as its main guide. This is referred to as the rate that one person infects others with Covid-19; with an R below one being needed for cases to continue to decrease. Anything above 1 could see lockdown measures re-introduced.