Read the Government Plan in Full

The Government has just released details outlining the roadmap of how it plans to begin winding down the lockdown over the coming months. Guido summarises key details below:

Step One – Wednesday 13th May

Work:

  • Workers should continue to work from home rather than their normal physical workplace, wherever possible.
  • Workers who cannot work from home should travel to work if their workplace is open.
    • e.g. food production, construction, manufacturing, logistics, distribution and scientific research in laboratories.
    • Exceptions being hospitality and non-essential retail
  • workplaces should follow the new “COVID-19 Secure” guidelines, which will be published this week

Schools:

  • A full reopening of schools is not on the table
  • Hope that Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils will be able to return to school, albeit in smaller class sizes
  • Government hopes secondary school GCSE pupils will get some face-to-face time before the summer holidays, however as a supplement to continued online classes
  • Nannies and childminders will be allowed to resume work, enabling more parents to return to work.

Travel: 

  • Government to publish advice this week to transport operators on following appropriate guidance to make their services COVID-19 secure

Face-coverings:

  • Homemade cloth face-coverings can help reduce the risk of transmission in some circumstances
    • Not the same as a facemask used by health workers
    • Shouldn’t be used by young children or primary age children or those with respiratory conditions

Public spaces:

  • The risk of infection outside is significantly lower than inside
  • Cannot meet up with any more than one person from outside your household
  • Unlimited exercise
  • However, playgrounds and outdoor gyms will remain closed
  • You can drive to outdoor spaces irrespective of distance, provided you’re not crossing boundaries between England/Scotland/Wales

International travel:

  • Government will provide accommodation for international travellers who are unable to demonstrate where they would self-isolated for the newly-mandated 14 days
  • Rules will be introduced as soon as possible

Step Two – No sooner than June 1st

  • Will permit cultural and sporting events to take place behind-closed-doors for broadcast, while avoiding the risk of large-scale social contact.

Social and family contact:

  • Government has asked SAGE to examine whether, when and how it can safely change the regulations to allow people to expand their household group to include one other household in the same exclusive group.
    • It would not be permitted to be in multiple household groups (if Household A merges with B, Household B cannot also elect to be in a group with Household C).
  • The Government is also looking at how to enable people to gather in slightly larger groups which would allow events such as weddings to resume
  • At the Government’s press briefing this afternoon, the PM’s spokesman clarified one grandparent could meet a grandchild in the park in the morning, with the other doing so separately in the afternoon, provided social distancing is maintained at all times

Step Three – No sooner than July 4th

  • The government’s aim of opening some remaining businesses from 4th July includes:
    • Hairdressers
    • Beauty salons
    • Pubs
    • Food service providers
    • Places of worship
  • However those facilites which, by design, are crowded and where social distincing may be difficult will not be able to re-open

Supporting programmes

Accurate disease monitoring and reactive measures

  • The Joint Biosecurity Centre will identify specific local actions to address local spikes in infections, such as one specific school shutting down

Public communication

  • The Government also admits they recognise the problems with moving from “Stay at Home” to a more nuanced message, and will therefore invest in population-wide public health education to ensure everyone has the information and education needed to take responsible risk judgements

Sustainable government structures

  • Government promises to learn the right lessons from this crisis and act now to ensure the government is fit to cope with future epidemics
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