What do the lockdown changes mean? Your questions answered
A number of ‘gradual changes’ to the current coronavirus measures have been announced by Boris Johnson, but the Prime Minister said that there will be no immediate end to the lockdown.
People will have new freedoms as of next week, allowing further access to the outdoors and to work.
However, some say the new government stance of “stay alert” rather than the slogan “stay at home” is unclear.
• Are shops reopening?
A phased reopening of shops could begin at the earliest by June 1, Mr Johnson said.
Subject to conditions and scientific advice “at least some of the hospitality industry and other public places” could be reopened with social distancing measures in place by July at the earliest, he added.
• What about schools?
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Efforts could be made to get primary pupils back into schools, in stages, starting with reception, Year 1 and Year 6, at the earliest by June 1, the Prime Minister said.
But the only secondary school pupils likely to attend school in any form before September are pupils in years 10 and 12, who will be able to have some face-to-face time with teachers to support their home learning.
Government officials said the remaining secondary school age pupils in England would not be expected to return to school before the summer holidays.
He promised detailed guidance “shortly” on how to make things work in schools and shops and on transport.
• Can I do more than one form of exercise a day?
From Wednesday the public will be encouraged to take “more and even unlimited” exercise, according to the Prime Minister.
Mr Johnson also announced that the public will now be able to drive to other destinations for their exercise meaning locals will now be able to make use of seaside towns along the coast.
• Can I sunbathe?
Yes. People will be allowed to sit in the sun in their local parks, but you must only do so with members of your own household and remain socially distanced from others.
• Can I go back to work?
Mr Johnson announced that those who cannot work from home should be encouraged to resume their roles.
The Prime Minister said that people who fit the category should be “actively encouraged” to get back to work in a bid to limit the economic damaged caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
He listed construction and manufacturing employees as examples of people who should get back to work.
He also said that the government would set out guidance for employers to make workplaces “Covid secure”.
• Can I use public transport?
When discussing the more relaxed work restrictions, Boris Johnson added that he wants those needing to work to stay safe, offering a warning over the use of public transport.
He said people should “avoid public transport if at all possible” because maintaining social distancing guidelines will be difficult and capacity limited.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said on Saturday that even with England’s public transport network running at full capacity it could only safely cater for 10% of the usual passenger load with the two-metre social distancing rule in place.
• What happens if I break social distancing rules?
If you break the rules, you can be fined and Boris Johnson announced that punishments could be more severe form Monday.
He said that the fines in place to discourage members of the public from breaking the rules will be increased in the wake of the press conference.