In a live speech yesterday evening, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson discussed his Government’s plan for a gradual return to normal life and a relaxing of some lockdown measures which have been in force for weeks.
Talking from Downing Street, Johnson said that, given the right circumstances, some schools and some shops across England might be able to open in June, and those who cannot work from home, such as in construction and manufacturing, are being encouraged to return to work.
However, he added that people should avoid using public transport, raising more questions than answers for many employers and employees who use public transport. People will also be allowed to spend an unlimited amount of time exercising outdoors, sitting or sunbathing in parks, and playing sports with members of their household.
Beyond the coming days, new measures are yet to be determined, and Johnson alluded to a series of other measures being relaxed with many ‘ifs’, such as hospitality businesses being able to trade again sometime in July if the circumstances are right.
The Prime Minister added that it is “not the time simply to end the lockdown”, and that the approach being taken is guided by science, to prevent a second wave of infections from afflicting the country.
The Prime Minister’s message drew mixed reactions, and the leaders of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales were among the first to criticise the decision to scale back the need to stay at home.