Back to work and school and unlimited exercise - these are the lockdown changes outlined in Boris Johnson's speech

It was anticipated as easing of the lockdown before it was warned few changes would be made – but what does tonight’s speech by Prime Minister Boris Johnson mean for us?

By Fiona Thompson
Sunday, 10th May 2020, 7:56 pm

In his 7pm speech, screened across a series of special news broadcasts, the Conservative lead said there will be no immediate end to the lockdown.

The official Government advice to the public on coronavirus has changed to "stay alert, control the virus, save lives", dropping the previous stricter message that people should stay home unless it is absolutely necessary to go out.

Setting out a ‘roadmap’ for the weeks ahead, Mr Johnson set out the following key points:

Boris Johnson outlined small changes to lockdown in a speech on May 10.

Covid Alert System

A new system is being set up determined mainly by the reinfection rate and the number of cases.

The alert levels will be one to five and the higher the level, the tougher social distancing measures will have to be. The PM said the UK had been in Level Four but "we are now in a position to begin to move in steps to Level Three".

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Back to work from Monday

From Monday, people who cannot work from home are being actively encouraged to go to work instead of being told to only go if they must.

Anyone who cannot work from home, perhaps those in construction and manufacturing "should be actively encouraged to go to work" from Monday, the PM said.

Mr Johnson will set out how workplaces can become "COVID-secure" by following new guidance for employers.

Avoid public transport

People should avoid public transport if at all possible.

Mr Johnson advised people to avoid public transport "if at all possible because we must and will maintain social distancing, and capacity will therefore be 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.

Back to school

Schools may begin to reopen by June 1 at the earliest along with the phased reopening of shops. This will be for Primary School pupils initially, and it is hoped that all children who are sitting exams next year will spend some time back in education before the summer holiday.

Pubs could reopen this summer

At least some pubs, restaurants, hotels and other public places could begin to reopen in July at the earliest "if and only if the numbers support it", the PM said.

Unlimited exercise from this week

From Wednesday, people are being encouraged to take unlimited amounts of outdoor exercise and even play sports, but only with members of their household.

Visiting and sunbathing in local parks will also be allowed as will driving to other destinations.

But social distancing rules will still have to be obeyed with bigger fines for those who break them.

Does his plan apply to the whole of the UK?

No. Devolved governments in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have power to make their own decisions on a number of matters, including health, and some have already done so.

Wales announced a slight easing on Friday allowing people to exercise more than once a day, garden centres reopening with social distancing guidelines and local authorities starting planning on how to safely open libraries and recycling centres.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Sunday that the cap on daily exercise has been scrapped, but she warned that that is not an excuse to meet up in groups at parks or beaches, to sunbathe or have picnics and barbecues.

Northern Ireland's road map, which is expected to only have "nuanced" changes, will be announced this week.

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