PRIME Minister Boris Johnson has announced an easing of lockdown rules in England which will come into force on Monday, June 1.
Mr Johnson has said that all five of the Government’s tests for easing the lockdown are being met, so adjustments can begin being made in England.
They include allowing up to six people to gather outside in public spaces or private gardens.
He told the daily Downing Street press conference: “I cannot and will not throw away all the gains we’ve made together and so the changes we’re making are limited and cautious.
“It’s thanks to the caution you’ve shown so far that all five met are being met.
“The result is that we can move forward with adjusting the lockdown in England on Monday.”
What can I do on Monday?
Groups of up to six people can meet in private gardens provided those from different households continue to stick to social distancing rules by staying two metres apart.
Previously, people could only meet one other person in an outside public place, such as a park.
It means, said Mr Johnson, that people will be able to see both parents or grandparents at once.
It is also the first time since the lockdown began that it allowing people into your garden will be permitted.
But, the two-metre distancing rule still applies for those from different households.
Can I go into someone else’s house?
No, that is still not allowed. The Prime Minister said this is because the ability for coronavirus to spread is far lower outdoors.
However, Mr Johnson did say that people are permitted inside others’ homes if they need to access the garden.
Boris Johnson also said people should “try to avoid seeing too many households in quick succession” in order to “avoid the risk of quick transmission from lots of different families”.
He added at the Downing Street briefing: “It remains the case that people should not be inside the homes of their friends and families, unless it is to access the garden.”
Can I go shopping?
Not yet, or at least, not most shops.
Some retail, such as outdoor markets and car showrooms, will be able to reopen on June 1.
But other ‘non-essential’ retail including clothes shops will have to wait until June 15, and then only if the government’s criteria for lifting the lockdown are still being met.
Will schools reopen?
Yes. The PM announced that from Monday, schools will reopen to more children, saying “closing schools has deprived children of their education”.
He went on: “On Monday we will start to put this right in a safe way by reopening nurseries and other early-years settings and reception year one and year six in primary schools.”
He said from June 15, secondary schools will begin to provide “some face to face contact time” for years 10 and 12.
What about those vulnerable people who are shielding?
Chief medical officer for England Professor Chris Whitty said it is hoped that “relatively soon” the number of infections will be low enough to start letting shielded people leave home.
Jay, 33, from Horsham, who is shielding with her 10-year-old son, asked the Downing Street briefing how the lockdown was going to be eased for the extremely vulnerable, saying she felt that people like her had been forgotten.
Prof Whitty said the number of infections must come down to reduce the risk for the shielded and vulnerable.
“And we will get to a stage, we hope relatively soon, where the absolute risk of people has gone down to a low enough level it will be possible in stages for people to leave shielding,” he said.