Coronavirus update: "First sketch" of Covid-19 exit plan revealed

Published by Ross Hindle on May 11th 2020, 8:08am

The government's divisive new "stay alert" messaging has replaced the previous mandatory "stay at home" instruction, as the government looks to very slowly ease the UK's lockdown.

To start, Mr Johnson advised that people who "can't work from home" would be "actively encouraged to" from Wednesday.

People, however, should still avoid public transport, and work from home where possible, but the government also said they will be advising employers on how workplaces can be made "Covid-secure".

Schools are to be reopened in "stages", but not until June 1 at the absolute earliest.

And "unlimited amounts of outdoor exercise" will be permitted from Wednesday, as will time outdoors for "leisure purposes", but social distancing measures will still be in place.

The prime minister intends to balance these measures based on a "Covid alert system" ranging from 1 (least dangerous) to 5 (most dangerous). Mr Johnson confirmed the UK was currently at a Level 4, moving down towards Level 3.

Finally, the "phased reopening" of non-essential shops may begin in England from June 1, at the absolute earliest.

Mr Johnson, however, was quick to confirm that the government would "put the brakes" on any eased measures if there were any signs of a second wave, or if the Covid alert system was to rise to Level 5.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has not kept solidarity with Mr Johnson's new messaging, instead urging people in Scotland to stay at home unless absolutely necessary.

She called Mr Johnson's new message "vague and imprecise", and said it would be "catastrophic to drop the 'stay at home' message".

There has been criticism from other political leaders, with Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham stating that the new advice was "too ambiguous" and "unenforceable", while Lib Dems acting leader Sir Ed Davey said it made "the police's job near-impossible" and could "cause considerable alarm".

The next Leaders Council update will follow tomorrow.

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Ross Hindle
Content Director
May 11th 2020, 8:08am

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