Coronavirus new lockdown rules
Posted on: 11/05/20
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced new lockdown rules for England.
The three-part slogan “stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives” has been switched in England to “stay alert, control the virus, save lives”. People are still being urged to stay at home if they can, but the shift in emphasis is to get more people out to work or exercising.
From Wednesday (13 May) people are allowed outdoors for unlimited amounts of time – as long as they continue to abide by social distancing restrictions.
Police will no longer reprimand people who sunbathe and play sports with other members of their household.
The guidance also suggests the English can drive to other destinations for their recreation.
Return to work
People in sectors such as construction and manufacturing who cannot work from home should be “actively encouraged to go to work” from Monday (11 May).
The government is to set out guidance for staff on making workplaces “Covid-secure” by the use of tape and painted marks to keep workers two metres apart, the installation of perspex screens and staggered working hours.
People are urged to avoid public transport “if at all possible” if they are returning to their workplaces – warning them that space in trains and buses will be limited because of the need for passengers to sit 2m apart.
From Wednesday (13 May), garden centres and nurseries will be allowed to reopen fully, if they can ensure 2m distancing between shoppers. Some have kept going through the lockdown by doing deliveries only, but the industry, worth more than £7bn a year to the economy, has been hit hard during its busiest season.
The current strict rules on which retailers are allowed to trade remain in force. But Mr Johnson raised the prospect of a phased reopening of shops from next month (June).
The Government is preparing to set out guidance to shops on social distancing.
If ministers are convinced that infection rates are falling, schools will begin to reopen from 1 June “at the earliest”. It would begin with primary pupils in reception, Year 1 and Year 6 classes.
Mr Johnson speaks of the ambition of secondary pupils with exams next year getting “at least some time with their teachers before the holidays”.
New arrivals at UK ports and airports face a mandatory 14-day quarantine from next month in an effort to avoid a second spike in coronavirus cases. The move, due to come into effect next month.
It has been reported that travellers will be required to provide an address at which they will immediately self-isolate for 14 days. People who flout their quarantine requirements could be fined up to £1,000 or deported.
Fines for breaches
While restrictions on outdoor activities are being relaxed, the government is increasing the level of fines that the police can impose, from the current level of £60 to £100. Serial offenders could end up paying £3,200. Mr Johnson said: “You must obey the rules on social distancing and to enforce those rules we will increase the fines for the small minority who break them.”