On 10 May 2020, The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, gave a televised address which set out ‘conditional’ plans for ‘a roadmap for reopening society’. The key changes, which apply in England only, are as follows:
- People who ‘can’t work from home’ will be ‘actively encouraged to go to work’. However, the use of public transport should still be avoided, if possible.
- From Wednesday 13 May 2020, individuals can take unlimited amounts of outdoor exercise and enjoy parks and outdoor spaces without having to exercise.
- The rules on social distancing remain in place and the Prime Minister said that the fines for breaking them will increase.
The Government will monitor the rate of infection (R) and number of new infections to determine progress and assess whether other restrictions can be lifted. The second step, from 1 June 2020 at the earliest, could see a phased reopening of shops and reopening of schools. Step three, by July at the earliest, could involve reopening of some of the hospitality industry and other public spaces. The Prime Minister is expected to set out more details in a statement to the House of Commons and the Government is expected to publish details on the updated guidance on the 11 May 2020.
More generally, the UK Government has revised its ‘stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives’ messaging to ‘stay alert, control the virus, save lives’. This advice applies to England only. The devolved governments in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have made clear they will keep the ‘stay at home’ message.
The Prime Minister’s address can be accessed here