On 5th July, the PM, Boris Johnson updated the nation on progress on his ‘roadmap’ out of Covid lockdowns. If we move to step 4, the decision will be taken on the 12th for implementation on 19th – with the pandemic ongoing. Remember, originally this step was expected in June.
Key points of what the PM thinks will happen (from his speech):
- cases are rising fairly rapidly – and there could be 50,000 cases detected per day by the 19th, along with more hospital admissions and deaths.
- by July 19 every adult will have had the chance to receive a first dose and two thirds will have received their second dose of vaccine.
- reducing the dose interval for under 40s from 12 weeks to 8 will occur, so that everyone over 18 should be double jabbed by mid-September, in addition to an autumn programme of booster vaccines for the most vulnerable.
- a move away from legal restrictions, allowing allow people to make their own informed decisions about how to manage the virus.
- from Step 4, government will probably remove all legal limits on the numbers meeting indoors and outdoors, allowing all businesses to re-open, including nightclubs.
- the limit on named visitors to care homes, and on numbers of people attending concerts, theatre, and sports events will probably be lifted.
- the 1 metre plus rule on social distancing, and the legal obligation to wear a face covering will probably be lifted, although guidance will suggest where you might choose to do so, especially when cases are rising, and where you come into contact with people you don’t normally meet in enclosed places, such as obviously crowded public transport.
- it will no longer be necessary for government to instruct people to work from home, so employers will be able to start planning a safe return to the workplace.
- there will be no Covid certificate required as a condition of entry to any venue or event, although businesses and events can certainly make use of certification and the NHS app gives you a Covid pass as one way to show your Covid status.
- you will have to self-isolate if you test positive or are told to do so by NHS Test and Trace. But government is looking to move to a different regime for fully vaccinated contacts of those testing positive, and also for children.
- people will be encouraged to repay the courage and dedication of NHS and care workers right now, by protecting themselves and others via the jabs.
There have also been announcements about removing school bubbles and about overseas travels. Soon, we should have the full picture.
How do you feel about the lifting of restrictions? Jubilant? Cautious? Somewhere in between. Let us know your thoughts.