What are the New Rules Regarding Easing of the Lockdown?
Since the UK went into lockdown on March 23rd, many of us have had to make significant changes to the way we live our lives. From changing how or where we work to home-schooling our children, life seems very different from how it was eight weeks ago.
The confusion surrounding the Government’s guidelines has been well documented, so, exactly how are the rules regarding coming out of lockdown, and how are they going to affect us?
If Boris Johnson is hoping we are going to return to relative ‘normality’ by July, the British public is going to need to comply with social distancing measures. While the PM has said he understood people “will feel frustrated with some of the new rules”. Mr Johnson also added, “We are trying to do something that has never had to be done before – moving the country out of a full lockdown, in a way which is safe and does not risk sacrificing all of your hard work.”
The primary measures are as follows:
- Schools – Under lockdown, schools and colleges have mostly been closed; unless essential workers have children in school, this could be among the first restrictions to be eased. By June 1st at the earliest, the Government believes it may be in a position to begin the phased reopening of primary schools. Mr Johnson has said this will happen “in stages”, starting with reception, Year 1 and Year 6. This will be reviewed on May 28th.
- Work – Reduced hot-desking, the closure of office lifts and canteens, marking on the floor where people should stand are among measures being proposed by the Government to get back people back to work. Continued home-working is being encouraged as are staggered shifts. Also, under Government guidance, construction has been permitted in accordance with social distancing rules. “Anyone who can’t work from home, for instance, those in construction and manufacturing, should be actively encouraged to go to work,” Mr Johnson said.
- Social Gatherings – Limited social gatherings could be permitted in an easing of lockdown, but as yet we are only able to meet one person for a socially isolated walk – this includes family members we don’t live with (for example meeting one parent at a time)
Of course, all of the above only applies if the rate of infection remains below 1. Existing lockdown measure has proven successful in reducing the number of hospital admissions. However, should this start to increase lockdown measures will probably have to remain for some time to come?
The most important thing to remember is if we behave sensibly and adhere to social distancing rules, lockdown will end sooner rather than later.
For a full breakdown of the Government’s lockdown measures, click here.