Todays Ministerial Briefing
- The government published its updated guidance on changes to the current lockdown regulations: OUR PLAN TO REBUILD: The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy. The daily press briefing was delivered by Mr Johnson with Professor Chris Whitty, chief medical officer for England and chief medical adviser to the UK government, and Sir Patrick Vallance, chief scientific adviser to the UK government. The slides accompanying todays briefing can be found here and include information to support the measures outlined below.
- The government is establishing a new COVID Alert Level System with 5 levels, each relating to the level of threat posed by the virus. Throughout the period of lockdown which started on March 23rd the UK has been at Level 4 – i.e. a Covid19 epidemic is in general circulation, and transmission is high or rising exponentially.
- Owing to the steps taken during the lockdown, the government sates that England is now in a position to begin moving to Level 3, in steps. These steps will modify the current lockdown measures and allow people to begin a return to their way of life - while avoiding a second peak that overwhelms the NHS. The government will only proceed to the next step when they are satisfied that it is safe to do so.
Step 1 - from this week:
- Those who cannot work from home should speak to their employer about returning to work;
- People can now spend time outdoors and exercise as often as they like.
- People can meet one person outside of their household outside (outdoors), provided they remain 2 metres apart. The social distancing measures remain crucial to keep the infection rate and the number of cases as low as possible;
Step 2 - from June 1, at the earliest, as long as the data allows:
- Primary schools to reopen for some pupils, in smaller class sizes;
- Non-essential retail to start to reopen, when and where it is safe to do so;
- Cultural and sporting events to take place behind closed doors, without crowds.
Step 3 – no earlier than July 4, and only if the data says it safe:
- More businesses and premises to open, including potentially those offering personal care such as leisure facilities, public places, and places of worship; however, many will need to operate in new ways to ensure they are safe.
- Government will work with these sectors on how to do this.
Stay Alert, Control the Virus and Save Lives