British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that all legal restrictions limiting social contacts could not be lifted in England until June 21. As he said, coming out of lockdown must be careful, so there will be five-week breaks between each stage of easing the restrictions.
A four-stage plan to recover from the lockdown in England was presented on Monday in the House of Commons by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. It was made possible by remarkable progress in the immunization program, he said, as more than 17.5 million people have already received the first dose. At the same time, he added that no vaccine is 100 percent. effective and lifting the lockdown will lead to a certain increase in morbidity and deaths.
“ It will happen regardless of when the lockdown is lifted, whether it is now or six or nine months from now, because there will always be vulnerable people who are not protected by the vaccine. So there is no real road to the covidless UK or the covidless world. And we cannot go on indefinitely in the limitations that weaken our economy, our physical and mental well-being, and our children’s opportunities. That is why it is so important that this roadmap is careful, but also irreversible – said Johnson.
He announced that there will be five-week breaks between the various stages of easing the restrictions.
According to earlier information, presented on Monday morning by Deputy Health Minister for Vaccination Nadhim Zahawi, in the first stage, from 8 March, all schools in England will return to full-time mode. This will also apply to those university courses where practical exercises or specialized equipment are necessary.
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This means that the British government has chosen a different approach in England than the governments of Scotland and Wales, where return to school began as early as Monday but is taking place in stages and so far only the youngest grades have resumed full-time education.
From March 8, open-air meetings with one person from outside your household will be allowed.
In the first phase, starting on March 29, there will be open-air meetings for up to six people or members of two households. From that date, the stay-at-home order will no longer apply, except for a few good reasons. Up to six people or members of two households can meet in the open air. Outdoor sports facilities, such as tennis courts and outdoor swimming pools, will be opened and amateur sports games may resume.
As part of the second stage – no earlier than April 12 – shops selling non-basic necessities will be able to resume operations, and pubs and restaurants will be able to serve customers at tables outside, without the requirement that alcohol should be served only with meals. From that date, self-catering accommodation and camping sites will be open.
In the third stage, from May 17, meetings will be possible in closed rooms, including homes – limited to six people or two households, and outside the limit will be raised to 30 people. Pubs and restaurants, hotels and hostels, cinemas, theaters and concert halls will resume full operation, albeit with the principles of social distancing, which means an incomplete audience. From that day on, fans will be able to return to the stadiums, but also with restrictions depending on their capacity.
The last of the four stages of Johnson’s plan to recover from the lockdown in England is scheduled for June 21 at the earliest. Prime Minister Johnson announced that “we will seek to lift all legal restrictions on social contacts, weddings and other events.” – We will reopen all venues including nightclubs and enable large events that are not included in the third step – he noted.
Four conditions for the progress of recovery from lockdown
The British prime minister, however, made a reservation that the dates for entering the next stages of easing the restrictions are conditional and when making decisions on them, he will not be guided by the announced dates, but by data on progress in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Progress towards recovering from lockdown will depend on the fulfillment of four conditions: will the vaccination program continue to be effective, will there be evidence that vaccination significantly reduces the number of cases and deaths, will the number of hospitalizations not overburden the health care system, and will they will change risk level assessments.
“I know there will be a lot of people who will worry about being too ambitious, and it is arrogant to impose any plan on the virus.” And I agree that we must always be humble with nature and we must be careful. But I really think that the vaccination program has radically changed the odds in our favor, and that is what we can now act on. Of course, there will be those who feel that we can move faster with a vaccination program. (…) But I tell them that today we can really see the end and this unfortunate year will give way to spring and summer, which will be completely different and incomparably better than the image we see around us today – assured Johnson.
The plan he announced applies only to England. The pace of lifting the restrictions in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be set by their governments, although their decisions on fighting the pandemic have not been radically different in the last year.
The balance of the pandemic in Great Britain
More than 17.6 million people in the UK have already received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, official data released on Sunday.
178 people died across the UK from COVID-19 on Monday. Together, they died from the coronavirus 120 757 people.
On Monday, 10,641 more cases of coronavirus infection were also reported. The day before, 9,834 infections were confirmed. In total, she fell ill with COVID-19 4 126 150.
Main photo source: NEIL HALL / EPA / PAP
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