The UK has been in lockdown for a long (almost) seven weeks, but this week the Prime Minister is set to lay down a 'roadmap' out of the restrictions.
Boris Johnson revealed last week that he would be sharing plans for ‘unlocking’ ‘parts of the UK economy’ over the coming weeks – after almost two months of strict lockdown rules on venturing outside our homes in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
And while we may be making the best of it, with numerous family Zoom calls and activities within our household- anyone else looking forward to some at-home VE Day celebrations this weekend? – many of us are wondering when lockdown will be lifted and normal life will resume.
So when is Boris Johnson’s next speech? And when exactly will we hear more about the easing of the lockdown?
When is Boris Johnson’s next speech?
It’s widely reported that Boris Johnson will make an address to the country this Sunday (10th May), sharing in detail the plans for getting the economy back on its feet.
The BBC’s political correspondent, Laura Kuenssberg has revealed that the speech will take place at 7pm on Sunday.
It’s likely that his speech will be discuss the plans for how and when people will return to work, as well as the ‘roadmap’ for getting children back to school.
It’s not yet been announced at what time the Prime Minister’s speech will be broadcast, but you’ll be able to watch it on all of the main channels – including the BBC, ITV and Sky News.
Boris Johnson first made a direct address to the nation on 23rd March, when he announced the strict lockdown measures. He also spoke to the UK once more outside Number 10, after returning to work from his stay in hospital, during his time suffering with coronavirus.
When is Boris reviewing lockdown?
Boris Johnson and his team have been reviewing the current lockdown measures for some time now, having come up with a way to begin easing some of the restrictions in place at the moment.
The lockdown has been under continuous review for the last few weeks, but the government have made it clear that they can not lift it until five criteria are met.
The five criteria for lifting lockdown are:
- Data showing the rate of infection is decreasing
- That the NHS must be able to cope with any increasing demand
- Evidence that there is a sustained and consistent fall in the death rate
- Confidence that there is enough PPE and enough tests available
- Confidence that any changes to the lockdown won’t trigger a second peak
The lockdown measures were last reviewed in the middle of April, before Dominic Raab announced that the lockdown was being extended for three weeks until 7th May.
So how might the PM suggest we begin to emerge from the lockdown?
The next steps for easing the lockdown
Boris himself hasn’t yet confirmed the measures the government will take to kickstart the economy again, nor when this will happen, as it’s not yet clear if the UK has achieved the five criteria needed to begin considering lifting the lockdown.
But, leaked draft government documents obtained by BuzzFeed have revealed how things might potentially play out when the time comes to begin easing the lockdown.
The measures include:
Offices and workplaces
- Staggered arrival and departure times at workplaces
- Staggered lunch and break times to reduce pressure on lounge and break areas
- More entries into buildings, with hand-washing stations there too
- Most office staff to be asked to carry on working from home if possible
- However, staff classified as critical to come in to the office can, as the lockdown is eased
- Hot-desking no longer permitted
- People should avoid sharing stationary
- Factories and warehouses should only let in the minimum number of people required to work at a time
- Workers in other peoples homes will be permitted, but members of the household should stay 2 metres apart from them and all internal doors should be open to allow for airflow
- Workers should not rotate and should be allocated to individual homes
- Customers may need to order their food online or via phone, and wait for food in their car
- Restaurants limited to takeaway food only
- Bars to remain closed
- Shops should facilitate cashless refunds
- Shops may need to work together to ensure queuing areas abide by social distancing rules
- Screens could be used regularly to shield workers and customers from one another