AT-A-GLANCE: All the steps in Boris Johnson's 'roadmap' for exiting lockdown
Boris Johnson has published his plans for restarting the UK's economy.
Boris Johnson has published his 'roadmap' for exiting the coronavirus lockdown. PolHome digs into all the key measures announced in the three-stage plan for restarting the UK's economy.
After almost two months in lockdown, the Government has now unveiled its three-stage plan for a slow easing of restrictions after ministers said the UK had "passed the peak" of the coronavirus outbreak.
The blueprint, which will see more sections of the economy reopening over the next six weeks, comes as Boris Johnson warned the country was at the point of "maximum risk" as it looks to allow more social contact and a phased return to work.
But ministers insisted they would take a "reactive" approach to the measures, with a warning that stricter lockdown measures would be reintroduced if the data showed there was a spike of infections resulting from their plan.
The first steps in the Government's plans are due to come into force from Wednesday.
- Those who are still able to work from home are asked to do so for the "forseeable future".
- Parts of the economy that are allowed to open should do so, including food production, construction, manufacturing, logistics, distribution and scientific research.
- Employees in these industries are now asked to return to work but should avoid public transport on their commute where possible.
- The advice says that these industries will be asked to follow new "COVID-19 Secure" guidelines which are set to be published, but will likely include asking employers to take steps to reduce unnecessary contact between workers.
- Hospitality and other non-essential shops will remain shut during this period.
- Schools will remain closed for the majority of pupils, with only vulnerable children and the children of key workers still allowed to attend.
- However, schools are being asked to do more to encourage children from these groups to attend schools in person.
- New guidelines are also being issued to clarify that paid nannies and childminders can take up childcare duties if they follow social distancing guidelines to allow more parents to return to work.
- Ministers say they are already working with public transport operators to draw up new guidelines to ensure the safety of those who cannot travel by other means.
- The Government is now recommending that anyone who is entering an enclosed space, such as public transport or some shops, should now cover their face. According to the advice, "homemade cloth face-coverings", such as a scarf can help reduce the risk of tranmissions in some circumstances.
- They stress this does not mean the public should be wearing surgical face masks due to shortage of supplies for health workers.
- People are now allowed to exercise as much as they want outdoors, including taking part in some sports such as angling and tennis.
- This means you can meet up with one person outside your household but only if you continue to maintain two metres distance.
- However, playgrounds and outdoor gyms will remain shut due to the risk of touching shared surfaces.
- The advice says you may now drive to open spaces "irrespective of distance" so long as social distancing guidelines can still be maintained.
- But it is made clear that differing rules between the four nations means similar travel will still not be allowed in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for the moment.
Shielding to continue
- The Government is continuing to ask those most at risk of developing a serious illness from the virus to remain shielded.
- In response, ministers have pledged to continue delivery food parcels to those who most need it and asking supermarkets to provide priority deliver slots.
- Most travellers entering the UK will be asked to self-isolate in their accomodation for 14 days following their arrival. Where officials do not believe this would be safe, they will be asked to remain in Government arranged quarantine for the period of isolation.
- Travellers will also be urged to download the NHS tracking app to allow further monitoring.
- Police forces across the country will be asked to continue enforcing the guidelines, including issuing fines to those flouting the restrictions.
- Ministers have also said they considering introducing tougher sanctions for those breaking the rules.
The decision to move to the second stage will be guided by scientific data on the rate of infection and the government's ability to track, track and test potential cases, the report says.
But the document says the current aim is for these new measures to be introduced "no earlier" than 1 June, with a possible delay if the infection rate does not drop.
- Schools will be asked to prepare for more children returning to early years settings, with Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 allowed back in smaller sizes.
- Secondary schools and further education colleges will also be asked to prepare for some limited "face to face contact" with Year 10 and 12 pupils with key exams next year, but remote learning from home will continue.
- The Government says its "ambition" is for all primary school children to return to school for a month before the summer holidays.
- A phased re-opening of all non-essential retail businesses could take place provided the new COVID safety measures an be implemented.
- The document says ministers will provide further detail on the timing and which businesses will be included in each phase "shortly".
- However, the hospitality and personal care sectors will still remain closed due to the high risk of infection.
Sporting and cultural events
- Cultural and sporting events will be allowed to be filmed behind closed doors, but no large crowds will be allowed due to the risk of infection.
- Public transport will be opened more widely to avoid the risk of overcrowing as more people return to work.
Social and family contact
- The briefing provides less clarity on when people will be able to spend time with friends and family.
- The Government says it has now asked its scientific advisory group to consider the safety of possibly allowing people to "expand their household group to include one other household in the same exclusive group."
- In simple terms, this would mean a family could choose to spend time with one other family, but that once paired these two households would not be allowed to spend time with others.
- The briefing says the "intention of this change would be to allow those who are isolated some more social contact, and to reduce the most harmful effects of the current social restrictions, while continuing to limit the risk of chains of transmission."
- Meanwhile, the Government is also examining how to enable slightly larger groups to gather for events such as small weddings.
The final part of the Government plan is not expected to come in to force before 4 July and once again relies on scientific and medical advisers being satisfied the previous measures had not caused a spike in the infection rate.
During this final stage, the government would hope to reopen at least some of the remaining businesses, including hairdressers, pubs, hotels, places of worship and cinemas.
However, the report warns that some venues and public spaces which would prove to be very crowded would still not be able to open safely at this point.
Instead, ministers plan to operate a system of pilot re-openings to monitor their ability to place social distancing rules in place and limit the spread of infection.
PoliticsHome provides the most comprehensive coverage of UK politics anywhere on the web, offering high quality original reporting and analysis: Subscribe