Lockdown Update as Boris Johnson Announces the Easing of Restrictions

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Boris Johnson announced on Sunday night that the UK will be following procedures in order to ease the lockdown measures that have been enforced for since March 22nd. He has made a number of points and has since released a strategy document setting out how this will work. The first change will be ‘step 1’ and will be introduced on Wednesday. This document can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/our-plan-to-rebuild-the-uk-governments-covid-19-recovery-strategy 

Step one

Work
Anyone who cannot work from home should now consider travelling to work if their workplace is open. This said, there is mounting pressures on employers to ensure that the workplace is safe for the return of staff. Also, these said workers have been advised not to travel via public transport and to walk or cycle to work if possible.

Step Two

These measures are for England and are reliant on the risk level at the time of making a final decision. The first day of June is the goal for the Step two to commence.

Schools
Schools are set to reopen to ‘some’ pupils on 1st June. This is something of a minefield as there are so many questions still left unanswered… which children will attend school? What needs to be in pace within the school building before anyone can return? It has also been said that parents WILL NOT be fined for choosing not to send their child back to school if they themselves or families within the household are vulnerable.

Shops
many non-essential shops could re-open from the 1st June but this does not include beauty services, pubs and restaurants as the risk is too high for because of the nature of the business and the close contact required; transmission in these environments is higher.

Sport and culture
Cultural and sporting events will be allowed to take place behind closed doors for broadcast purposes.

Step three

Step three will be considered on 4th July. If all five tests are met and the scientific advice is that of accepting this new phase, the government will then begin to re-open the remaining businesses such as beauty shops, pubs, hairdressers and places of worship and cinemas. However, these places must meet safety guidelines. Some venues which by their design make physical distancing difficult may not be able to reopen at this stage

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Sharon Richards

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