Correct as of 17.00 28 May 2020
Daily Government press briefing
Prime Minister Boris Johnson led today’s briefing, joined by Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty and Chief Scientific Advisor Sir Patrick Vallance. After reviewing the country’s progress against the five tests for reopening, the PM announced that some lockdown restrictions will be lifted in England on 1 June:
- Schools will open on Monday in England: nurseries, reception, year 1 and year 6 will be first, then on 15 June secondary schools will begin to provide face-to-face contact time for years 10 and 12
- Outdoor retail and car showrooms will open on 1 June, with other retail opening 15 June
- Up to 6 people will be allowed to gather outdoors, including in private gardens, provided that separate households maintain physical distancing measures
- Shielded and vulnerable groups of people should remain in quarantine.
- If and when local outbreaks arise, distancing measures will be reinstated as needed.
- You can read the PM’s announcement or watch the full briefing here.
NHS Test and Trace system launching today
From today, anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 will be asked to share details about their recent interactions, including household members, people they have been in direct contact with or people that have come within 2 metres for more than 15 minutes. Each of those contacts will then need to self-isolate for 14 days, even if they are not showing symptoms, to avoid spreading the virus.
Related guidance has been published for employers, businesses and workers.
Scotland to start easing lockdown restrictions on Friday
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced that tomorrow (29 May) Scotland will move to phase one of a four-step plan to lift lockdown restrictions. Some key changes from tomorrow:
- People from two different households may meet outdoors in groups up to 8, while maintaining social distancing
- Outdoor leisure activities such as golf, tennis, bowls and fishing may resume with distancing measures
Further changes from Monday 1 June:
- Recycling centres may reopen
- Teachers and other staff may return to schools to prepare for a “blended model” of education to begin 11 August
Other Government updates
- Guidance to check which employees are eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has added a Welsh translation.
- EasyJet plans to lay off 30% of its workforce, and does not expect to return to 2019 levels of activity until 2023.
- The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has debuted the “Safe Travels” stamp, a global safety and hygiene stamp to help travellers recognize international governments and businesses that have adopted standardized health protocols.
- As of 6 June, the Swiss Federal Council will further relax physical distancing measures, lifting restrictions on many leisure, entertainment and sports activities.