From Monday June 1st, coronavirus lockdown conditions in England change as the government says that measurements of the ‘five tests’ have been met.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that from Monday, groups of up to six people from different households will be able to meet outside, in gardens and parks. Social distancing conditions still have to be met as households keep two metres apart.
“These changes mean friends and family will start to meet loved ones,” in what would be a “long awaited and joyful moment,” said Boris Johnson.
Previously, regulations stated that people in England could only meet one other person from another household in public.
The ‘five tests’ that have been met to allow lockdown conditions to be relaxed are :
- Making sure the NHS can cope
- A sustained and consistent fall in the daily death rate
- The rate of infection decreasing to manageable levels
- Ensuring supply of tests and PPE can meet future demand
- Confidence that any adjustments would not risk a second peak
Although the changes means that people will be able to see “both parents at once, or both grandparents at once,” as Boris Johnson said at Thursday’s Downing Street briefing, the Prime Minister cautioned people to “try to avoid seeing people from too many households in quick succession” to help “avoid the risk of transmission from lots of different families”.
Queue for barbecue
The changes make allowance for barbecues, though people are advised to be scrupulous about hygiene and social distancing. It’s also not permitted for people to stay overnight, or ideally to enter another house at all.
The UK government’s chief medical adviser Prof Chris Whittys said at the briefing that it was essential that people continue to ocial distance and wash their hands. “If someone was to go into the loo because they had to do that, it’s absolutely critical that they wipe everything down, wash their hands all the way through”, he said.
“If you were to do something like a barbecue, remember that passing things from one person to another, if you haven’t washed your hands, you can pass the virus that way.”
The briefing included reminders that vulnerable people being shielded should continue to observe conditions of isolation, but Boris Johnson pledged that ministers were looking for ways to make their lives easier. He also warned that “there will be further local outbreaks” and said the government would reintroduce lockdown measures where required, while pledging that people who lose income as a result of local lockdowns will be helped.
In Scotland, people from two different households can meet outdoors at a distance from Friday, but First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has also said that guests should not enter other people’s homes, for instance to use the toilet.
In Wales, people from two different households will be able to meet outside from Monday, and in Northern Ireland, outdoor weddings with 10 people present may be allowed from 8th June.