Coronavirus lockdown 'won't be over by summer' says expert
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Gardens have been off-limits for several months now, thanks to a surge in cases and a subsequent Covid lockdown. Thankfully, the latest lockdown began in January during a bracing chill, with most people against going outdoors for long. However, now the weather has markedly improved, with temperatures once again climbing into double figures.
Can you meet people in your garden?
In February, the Government released a lockdown roadmap that outlined how it hopes to relax measures in several stages from March to June 2020.
Ministers realised the first step of this plan on March 8, when they allowed children to return to school for the first time since January.
The first stage of the plan also came with some relaxations for public meetings.
As children returned to the classroom, people were once again able to meet someone else outside.
They could meet a friend or family member for food or a drink, provided they stayed outside and socially distant.
The rules enabled picnics as well, despite the weather remaining chilly.
Now the weather has returned distinctly more summery, people will want more, but they will have to wait.
Government roadmap provisions do not currently allow people to meet one another in a garden.
They will have to wait another week before they can do so, as the second part of the Government’s first phase springs into action.
Garden meetings are allowed once again from March 29, when six people or two households can congregate in someone else’s private space.
The stay at home order will also end from this date, and outdoor sporting facilities can reopen.
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Naturally, the Government’s timeline may not go quite to plan.
Officials are monitoring several variables as the UK gets closer to fully unlocking by the summer.
They have written up four tests which will guide how the country unlocks in the coming months.
Should the situation not meet test requirements, the unlock dates could end up pushed back.
Officials will stick to the current timetable provided the following conditions apply:
- Vaccine deployment programmes continue successfully
- Vaccines remain sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths
- Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations
- Variants of Concern do not alter risk assessments
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