After almost two months of lockdown, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has set out what he called “the first sketch of a road map for reopening society”, which includes plans to reopen churches from July.
As part of its third and final phase of the plan for lifting lockdown, which could begin on 4th July, the Government wants to open churches, as well as some hairdressers and beauty salons and some cinemas.
A new Covid Alert System is being set up determined mainly by the reinfection rate and the number of cases.
The alert levels will be one to five and the higher the level, the tougher social distancing measures will have to be. The PM said the UK had been in Level Four but “we are now in a position to begin to move in steps to Level Three”.
From Monday, people who cannot work from home are being actively encouraged to go to work instead of being told to only go if they must. But they should avoid public transport if at all possible.
From Wednesday, people are being encouraged to take unlimited amounts of outdoor exercise and even play sports, but only with members of their household.
Visiting and sunbathing in local parks will also be allowed as will driving to other destinations.
But social distancing rules will still have to be obeyed with bigger fines for those who break them.
Schools may begin to reopen by 1st June at the earliest along with the phased reopening of shops.
Churches and outdoor cafes could begin to reopen in July, along with public places including cinemas, as long as the two-metre social distancing rule can be enforced and “if, and only if, the numbers support it”.
Picture: Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressing the nation about coronavirus (Covid-19) from 10 Downing Street in London. (PA).