Published on : Monday, May 11, 2020
On Sunday, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the government’s plan to slowly ease lockdown restrictions. He addressed the nation through an official press statement and asked people across the United Kingdom to return to work if they fail to work from home. He laid out the plans regarding gradually restarting the country’s economy.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in his statement that the government is urging people who fail to work-from-home such as individuals involved in construction or manufacturing, to go to work. He also mentioned that the government is encouraging people to undertake more and even unlimited amounts of outdoor exercise starting Wednesday. He announced that residents are now allowed to sit in the sun in their local park, drive to other destinations and even play sports but only with members of their own household.
The plan is being considered as a road map to resuming activity in the country following more than six weeks under lockdown. It has been characterized as a careful balance between curbing the spread of the coronavirus disease by keeping the rate of infections low as well as easing the economic burden caused by the COVID-19 pandemic on millions of people in the U.K.
However, certain restrictions have also been announced alongside the ease of restriction plan. The “Stay-At-Home” advise and slogan has now been transformed to “Stay Alert” in order to save lives and protect people from the deadly coronavirus disease. It has been announced that a new five-tier alert system will be employed by a biosecurity center that is usually used for terror threats in the U.K.
It has been informed that quarantining people entering the country by air would soon come into place. People going to work have been advised to avoid accessing public transport wherever possible. If the situation continues to be stable, primary schools might open from June 1. The hospitality sector and the majority of shops are likely to reopen from the month of July based on the circumstances.
On the other hand, First Minister Arlene Foster has announced that Northern Ireland will be observing lockdown restrictions for another three weeks with some ‘nuanced’ changes. Restrictions in Scotland and Wales will also continue to be in place. People might be allowed out more than once per day for exercise and garden centers are likely to reopen in Wales from Wednesday. However, opponents have placed some criticism in the U.K. lockdown ease plans due to lack of clarity. Prime Minister Johnson has further mentioned that the plan is “conditional”. He added that brakes will be put on the easing of measures if the second wave of coronavirus disease emerges and the rate of infection increases.