The Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced new easings of lockdown restrictions, many of which will begin on Monday. The Prime Minister has confirmed that all five tests required for the next phase of lockdown easing to begin have been met, adding: “The result is we can moved forward with adjusting the lockdown on Monday.”
The Prime Minister said there has been a “toll taken on family and friends unable to see each other”.
“These changes means friends and family will start to meet loved ones,” says the PM, adding it is a “long awaited and joyful moment”.
But he warns people “must stay alert and act responsibly”.
The official advice is still to stay at home as much as possible and that social distancing must be adhered to at all times.
How many friends can I meet? Where can I meet them?
New changes include
- Six people will be able to meet outside as a group as of Monday
- People can meet in gardens and open spaces as long as social distancing is adhered to – and anyone who comes over to your property should not linger in your house
Mr Johnson also warned against too many households meeting in quick succession as this could cause rapid infection.
What else has changed?
Other changes include secondary schools will have some face-to-face lessons beginning soon, whereas before just primary schools were due to return on June 1.
Mr Johnson said “closing schools has deprived children of their education.”
Those who are required to shield themselves should continue to do so.
The five tests that needed to be met before lockdown are as follows:
- Test one: Making sure the NHS can cope
- Test two: A ‘sustained and consistent’ fall in the daily death rate
- Test three: Rate of infection decreasing to ‘manageable levels’
- Fourth test: Ensuring supply of tests and PPE can meet future demand
- Fifth test: Being confident any adjustments would not risk a second peak that would overwhelm the NHS
Mr Johnson said the “heroic efforts” of NHS workers and the public mean that the first test of protecting the NHS’s ability to cope has been met.
He said a “sustained and consistent fall in the daily death rate” has been witnessed, meaning the second test has been me.
The Government is satisfied the third test has been met because the rate of infection is “decreasing to manageable levels across the board” with an average of 2,312 new cases being confirmed in the last seven days, he said.
Test four has been met by signing new contracts for protective equipment and boosting testing capacity to 161,214 a day, he said.
On the final test, the PM said that the adjustments have been crafted to not risk a second peak that would overwhelm the NHS.
“This package has been carefully designed so we can ease the burdens of the lockdown while expecting to keep that R below one,” he said.