UPDATE (May 11): Another three weeks has passed and, last night, the UK sat patiently waiting to see what Prime Minister Boris Johnson had to say regarding the current coronavirus lockdown guidelines. It appears not much has changed: unlimited exercise is allowed from Wednesday, and workers who are unable to work from home are being "actively encouraged" to return to work.
After Boris delivered an unclear message surrounding the current situation, the PM did deliver a roadmap stating the step-by-step action the government will take to get us on the steady road to normality.
The steps taken could see primary schools reopening from June 1, with reception classes and those in years 1 and 6 returning first. Joining these could be parts of the hospitality sector, such as pavement cafes and park cafes. Johnson also mentioned in his address that workplaces and public transport services will be 'Covid Approved' before they can be put to use; this is through ensuring that social distancing measures can be consistently followed.
Police fines have also been increased from £60 to £100 for the people that are caught breaking the rules. "This is not the time simply to end the lockdown this week," Johnson said. "Instead, we are taking the first careful steps to modify our measures. We are going to be driven by the science, the data, and public health."
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, followed Johnson's statement with one of his own via Twitter:
LONDON: I want to be as clear as possible: social distancing measures are still in place.— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) May 10, 2020
Lockdown hasn’t been lifted and we all still need to play our part in stopping the spread of #COVID19.
⬇️ My statement: pic.twitter.com/MJwPEFCOVl
All we can do now is wait for the next batch of instructions; however, according to the roadmap announced by Boris Johnson, we will be living with the same restrictions for at least another two months. You can watch his full speech below.
Original story below.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has revealed that some coronavirus lockdown restrictions could be lifted next Monday. During yesterday's PMQs (Prime Minister's Questions) led by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, Johnson confirmed that he would give a speech on Sunday to announce what was going to happen about the current lockdown.
Members of Parliament asked Johnson why he is not going straight to the House of Commons to tell them first. "The reason for that is very simple," Johnson said, "we have to be sure the the data is going to support our ability to do this."
He added that "data is coming in continuously over the next few days", and if the data continues to prove positive, some measures can be lifted on Monday. However, on the flipside, Johnson also mentioned that there could be an "economic disaster" if the UK was to relax the lockdown, which could possibly lead to a second spike in coronavirus infections.
It was also revealed today that black men and women in the UK are four times more likely to die after contracting COVID-19 than white people, which is the latest analysis from the ONS (Office for National Statistics). "These results show that the difference between ethnic groups in COVID-19 mortality is partly a result of socio-economic disadvantage and other circumstances," the ONS said, "but a remaining part of the difference has not yet been explained."
Here's hoping Boris Johsnon makes the most logical and safest decision.