Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Children first, then night clubs. Britain has a plan to return to normal


Spring and summer as a time of hope. According to Prime Minister Johnson, the English way out of the lockdown is a four-phase plan. Each of the steps is at least five weeks apart – four for data collection and evaluation and an extra week to prepare people for the next phase.

The plan that Johnson came up with on Monday also offers dates for each step. However, according to Downing Street, these are purely indicative data, and the government warned that the implementation of the second and subsequent steps may be delayed. The program is to “follow the epidemic data rather than the calendar data.” In any case, the presented plan has a lot of “buts”, so what it will look like in practice is now a question.

The United Kingdom is now one of the countries most affected by coronavirus infection. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the country has registered 3.2 million positively tested and more than 120,000 victims.

At the same time, however, Britain is massively vaccinated – according to official data, medics gave 17.7 million first doses and over 600,000 mandatory second doses of covid-19 vaccine. According to Johnson, the combination of a vaccination campaign and a disintegration plan is a “one-way street to freedom.”

Reactions to Johnson’s plan are mixed. According to the British daily The Guardian, some members of the Conservative Party would have originally wanted to disintegrate more quickly. Labor chief Keir Starmer called it irresponsible and urged Johnson not to do so. Shadow Treasury Secretary Anneliese Dodds of the opposition Labor Party wrote on Twitter that Johnson leaves entrepreneurs in uncertainty.

For example, epidemiologist Neil Ferguson, a former adviser to Boris Johnson on the pandemic, welcomed the plan. According to him, the government gives the British “just a big portion of hope” – and at the same time proceeds cautiously with disintegration. However, he said that an increase in covid-19 cases should be expected when children return to school.

Step 1 – part one and second

Johnson is preparing for the first step on March 8. Pupils and students will return to schools of all levels, and groups will also open. High school students and the elderly will protect their mouths in the classroom with drapes or other means.

Nursing home residents can look forward to visits in two weeks, albeit to a limited extent. Each of them will designate one person who will be able to come to them. The British will also be able to meet in the fresh air, for example for coffee or a small picnic, or go to practice. However, according to The Guardian, the “stay home” regulation should continue to apply.

In the second part of the first step, ie around the end of March, groups of six people or two households will be able to meet outside. Outdoor sports, including swimming in the outdoor pools, will also be allowed.

As for the regulation, people will no longer have to stay at home, but the authorities will call on them to “stay in their place of residence”. What this means in practice, they leave to the discretion of the people. The British should continue to work as much as possible from home at this stage, and travel will still be largely limited.

Step 2

This phase covers – according to current plans – about mid-April. Services such as hairdressers, shops and museums as well as libraries can be prepared for reopening. To a limited extent, the gates of zoos will open, as will gyms or indoor pools. Outdoor businesses, pubs and restaurants will be able to open their gardens.

Holiday facilities will also open. Fifteen people will be able to attend social events such as weddings, receptions or funerals. Funerals thirty. British university students should know when and during the Easter holidays to return in person for lectures.

Step 3

The third phase will also be important – restrictions on bringing people from different households into the fresh air will largely cease to apply. Up to thirty people will be able to meet outside, in parks or gardens. And disintegration also applies to meetings within. Six people or two households will be able to meet.

Probably in the second half of May, the interiors of businesses (such as restaurants), hotels, guesthouses, gaming centers and cinemas will open. The British will be able to go to practice in a group lesson again and also watch, for example, the match of their favorite team.

According to the evaluation of the collected data, at this stage, around 17 May, the British could go abroad on holiday. The number of people at weddings will increase to 30 participants.

Step 4

According to current estimates, the fourth phase could take place on or after June 21. Whoever wants, with whomever he wants will be able to meet in this last stage of the “anti-lockdown” plan. And the last part of the companies, which have not yet been allowed to open so far, will be able to welcome customers. For example, night clubs.





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