Latest Coronavirus Update: Step One Of Easing The Lockdown
Updated: May 13, 2020
Today (Wednesday 13th May) step one of the Government's plan to ease the lockdown comes into force. Here's what it means for you:
1) Stay at home - but if you can't work from home, you should go to work if your workplace is open. Sectors of the economy that are allowed to be open should be open, for example this includes food production, construction, manufacturing, logistics, distribution and scientific research in laboratories. The only exceptions to this are those workplaces such as hospitality and non-essential retail which during this first step the Government is requiring to remain closed.
The Government has issued guidance to help employers and employees make their workplaces Covid-secure. Find the guidance here.
2) Schools remain closed - but if you are a critical worker or your child is vulnerable, they can attend school in person.
The rate of infection remains too high to allow the reopening of schools for all pupils yet. However, if your child is vulnerable (including those in need, those with an Education, Health and Care plan and those assessed as otherwise vulnerable by education providers or local authorities) or you are a critical worker, your child can attend school in person.
3) Avoid public transport if you can - the Government recommends using face coverings if you are in an enclosed space were social distancing is not possible.
If you can, travel by bike, foot, or car to minimise the number of people you will come into close contact with. Homemade cloth face-coverings can help reduce the risk of transmission in some circumstances. Face-coverings are not intended to help the wearer, but to protect others if you are unknowingly infected with the virus.
A face covering is not the same as a facemask such as the surgical masks or respirators used as part of personal protective equipment by NHS workers.
4) Public spaces - you can exercise outside as many times each day as you wish.
SAGE -the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies - has advised the Government that the risk of infection outside is significantly lower than inside. As well as exercising more, you can now while social distancing:
Spend time outdoors - for example sitting and enjoying the fresh air, picnicking or sunbathing.
Meet one other person from a different household outdoors - but stay 2 metres apart.
Use outdoors sports courts or facilities, such as a tennis or basketball court, or a golf course.
Go to a garden centre.
5) Breaking the rules - people who break the lockdown restrictions now face a minimum £100 penalty if they breach rules on movement during the outbreak. The amount will be halved if it is paid within a fortnight. Fines will be doubled for each offence an individual commits, up to a total of £3,200.
Read the Government's full roadmap to lift the lockdown restriction here.