Lockdown became a little less strict when we entered step 1 of the government’s Covid-19 recovery strategy on May 13.
Under those changes, those who couldn’t work from home were allowed to return to their workplace when it is open and people can now exercise as many times a day as they want.
We are also allowed to drive to open outdoor spaces in England to practice and get some fresh air, no longer how far away they are. It is also allowed to meet someone from outside your household, as long as the social distance is maintained.
And we could see further easing and changes soon as the proposed time for Step 2 of the recovery plan comes into effect.
When Boris Johnson announced the exit plan for closure, a government document said that step 2 would be made “no earlier than Monday, June 1,” subject to up-to-date assessments of the virus’s risk.
So what could be different from June 1?
Non-essential retail is intended to open in phases “when and where it’s safe” from June 1, and provided that those retailers can follow Covid-19 guidelines.
The government says it will provide further guidance explaining how this gradual reopening will work, including which companies will be treated at each stage and what deadlines will be.
All other sectors that are currently closed, including catering (pubs, cafes, restaurants) and personal care (hairdressers, hairdressers and beauty salons) cannot reopen at this time “because the risk of transmission in these environments is greater.”
The opening of these types of companies is likely to take place in stages during Step 3 of the plan, which is scheduled for July 4.
Cafés and restaurants may be able to reopen a little earlier if they have outdoor seating that can be easily removed.
Environment Minister George Eustice said he wanted pubs to “gradually open for the time being” with social distance in July.
From June 1, the government plans to have sports and cultural events take place behind closed doors for broadcast, avoiding the risk of widespread social contact.
The Mirror reports that in reality we look forward to the return of the Premier League around mid-June, if talks with the government and operators are successful.
Football fans without Sky or BT Sport can watch a number of live Premier League matches on free TV.
Broadcasters had previously been banned from screening matches that started at 3 p.m. on Saturday due to concerns that supporters would stay at home and watch TV rather than attend a match.
However, as matches are held behind closed doors and crowds are not allowed in the stands, there is no longer any reason for protection.
On June 1, a phased return could take place for institutions and schools in the early years.
The schools have been asked to prepare for the opening from that date.
The government expects that children can return to the early years and that from this point on, the reception, year 1 and year 6 will be back in school in smaller sizes.
This is to ensure that the youngest children and those preparing for the transition to high school have maximum time with their teachers.
Secondary schools and colleges should also prepare to get in touch with students in grades 10 and 12 who will take key exams next year. But high schools don’t open until September.
The government’s ambition is that all primary school children return to school for a month if possible before the summer, but this will be monitored.
The Department of Education says it will “work closely with schools and early school providers to develop more details and guidelines on how schools should do this.”
Unions are asking for more information about the reasoning behind the decision, and many school leaders say their schools cannot introduce distance learning.
More than two dozen municipalities with more than 2,000 primary schools say they may not reopen on June 1.
Step 2 of the government plan says June 1 may see the reopening of more local public transport in urban areas.
Strict measures apply to limit the risk of infection in these normally busy areas as much as possible.
Meet more people
Since the closure started on March 23, the government has asked people to leave the house for very limited purposes only and admits “that this has been extremely disruptive to people’s lives. This has particularly affected the isolated and vulnerable people and the singles affected “.
While we can now meet another person from outside our household to practice outside – such as a distance walk in the local park – the government is looking at other options.
It asked SAGE to investigate if, when and how it can safely change regulations to enable people to expand their household group to one other household in the same exclusive group.
The goal is to enable more social contact for isolated people.
It would also mean that some families could return to work if two households could share childcare.
The government is also looking at how to bring people together in slightly larger groups, such as at small weddings.
It says that it “considers the widest possible range of views on how to best balance the health, economic and social impacts”.