EASING THE BURDENS OF LOCKDOWN

The Prime Minister has set out a carefully-designed package to ease the burdens of lockdown to keep the virus under control. Everyone must stay alert to control the virus and save lives.

  • We have been clear that our five tests must be met before any changes to the lockdown are made, because we must not risk the sacrifice of the British people.
     
  • Thanks to the public’s continued patience and hard work in helping to protect the NHS and contain the virus, the Prime Minister confirmed yesterday that the Government’s five tests are being met. This means we can now move forward to the next phase of adjusting the lockdown.
     
  • A series of measures will be put in place in England from Monday 1 June in three core areas – schools, social contact and retail

1) Firstly, as the Prime Minister set out on Sunday, we will reopen schools to more children on Monday.

  • On Monday we will start to open schools - in a safe way - by reopening nurseries and other early years settings and reception, Year 1 and Year 6 in primary schools.
     
  • On 15 June, secondary schools will begin to provide some face-to-face contact time for Years 10 and Year 12.

2) Secondly, we will also start to reopen some shops as we restart our economy.

  • On Monday, outdoor markets and car showrooms will be able to reopen, provided they meet Covid-secure guidelines.
     
  • On 15 June, we intend to reopen other non-essential retail - but only provided the five tests are still being met and shops have been made Covid-secure. 

3) Thirdly, from Monday we will allow up to six people to meet outside, including gardens and other private outdoor spaces - provided those from different households continue strictly to observe social distancing rules by staying two metres apart.

  • At the moment, people can meet in parks but not in private gardens. The evidence shows that the risk of transmission is significantly lower outdoors and this step will mean that people can see more of their friends, family and loved ones - perhaps seeing both parents at once, or both grandparents at once.
     
  • But to control the virus, everyone needs to stay alert, act responsibly, strictly observe social distancing rules, and stay two metres apart from those who you do not live with. 
     
  • Minimising contact with others is still the best way to prevent transmission. You should also try to avoid seeing people from too many households in quick succession.
     
  • It remains the case that people should not be inside the homes of their friends and families, unless it is to access the garden.

All the steps we have taken, and will take, are conditional. They are conditional on all the data, and all the scientific advice, and it is that scientific advice which will help us to judge what we are doing is safe.