Lockdown: Expert says ‘there’s an argument for speeding up’
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The lockdown easing roadmap is officially underway and Prime Minister Boris Johnson this week revealed he does not believe the planned reopenings for April 12 will be disrupted. Many areas across Europe are tightening lockdown restrictions in response to rising rates of coronavirus. Express.co.uk has compiled a guide to explain exactly what sectors of society will be reopened from April 12.
The first stage of lockdown easing has now been undertaken with lifting taking effect on March 8 and March 29.
On March 8, schools reopened and social gatherings between two people for recreation purposes was again permitted.
Later in the month, the rule of six or two households were permitted to meet in outdoor settings.
In March, outdoor sports facilities such as golf and football resumed for adults and children too, and care home residents were permitted to welcome a visitor as well.
The next step will take place on Monday, April 12.
On Monday, Boris Johnson announced the vaccine rollout and progress of the virus across the country is progressing positively, meaning the country will be able to lift lockdown restrictions on April 12.
Mr Johnson said: “The net result of your efforts and the vaccine rollout is that I can today confirm that from Monday, April 12, we will move to Step Two of our roadmap – reopening shops, gyms, zoos, holiday campsites, personal care services like hairdressers and, of course, beer gardens and outdoor hospitality of all kinds.
“And on Monday, April 12, I will be going to the pub myself – and cautiously but irreversibly raising a pint of beer to my lips.
“We’re also increasing the number of visitors to care homes from one to two – to allow residents to see more of their loved ones.
“We think that these changes are fully justified by the data, which show we are meeting our four tests for easing the lockdown as Chris will shortly explain.”
What is reopening on April 12?
From April 12, the rules regarding indoor leisure activities, including gyms, will change.
Indoor leisure facilities will reopen for use individually or within household groups.
All non-essential retail outlets are allowed to reopen at this time, with the Government urging shoppers to attend outlets alone rather than as an entire household.
Retailers will be permitted to reopen their doors until 10pm as the Government seeks to bolster high street trade, whilst also ensuring compliance with social distancing rules.
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Pubs and restaurants will also be able to reopen, but only those with outdoor settings and dining options.
People will be able to visit pub gardens, outdoor terraces and balcony settings.
Visitors will be required to check in on the NHS’s Test and Trace app with up to six people or two households permitted to meet for meals and drinks in these outdoor environments.
In addition to retail shops, personal care premises, including hairdressers, are permitted to open.
Libraries and community centres will also be able to reopen at this point.
Staycations will also be allowed from April 12, but in a limited form.
One household will be allowed to stay overnight somewhere in the UK, but not with another household.
Self-contained accommodation will be available to rent, such as cottages, Airbnb rentals or campsites.
Hotels and B&Bs cannot reopen at this time, even for those staying with your household only.
Outdoor hospitality venues, like zoos and theme parks, can also open from this date.
The limit on the maximum number of attendees at weddings and wakes will also rise from six to 15.
The event pilots scheme is scheduled to begin on April 12.
As part of the pilot scheme, venues will be able to explore different approaches to social distancing, ventilation, testing-on-entry and other protocols affecting places.
This information will be fed back to the Government to help when everything reopens in full from June 21.
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