UK Coronavirus Lockdown: Boris Johnson Lays out New Rules and Exit Strategy

By Shabana Arif on at

Boris brushed his hair to deliver his latest monologue to the nation last night, and apparently it was the most put together thing about his speech that appears to have befuddled everyone, so allow us to help cut through the crap.

The Prime Minister delivered what I'm sure he felt was a rousing speech yesterday as he laid out his roadmap for lifting lockdown over the coming weeks and months. With a lot of jabbing of his fist and sounding generally angry and annoyed throughout, he told us all what a great job we've been doing and that we've earned ourselves the treat of being able to go outside a bit more and get our arses back to work, because the country can't run on claps and banana bread alone.

The measures are rolling out on Wednesday, and will continue to follow the roadmap only if the five check boxes outlined at the beginning of the month are met and continue to be fulfilled as we go. To make things easier for the public to understand, a new coronavirus threat level has been introduced that looks a lot like Nando's Peri Peri scale, so that we all know if things are going to shit and we need to lock ourselves back indoors again. It's a process that will need to be continually reviewed to avoid a second peak of the virus while the government attempts to revive the economy, although it's not being received well by people who are returning to work, with concerns that the safety measures Johnson touched on may not be present or sufficient in all workplaces.

You can check out the speech in full below, and skip to the section below to find out more on what the new normal is. The advice is for England only, and requires everyone to still observe social distancing rules because the virus hasn't kicked back and taken a break. You night want to consider investing in or making a mask if you find yourself having to take public transport or be around larger groups of people again. While London Mayor Sadiq Khan suggested face masks be mandatory for public transport, they're not, so don't expect everyone to be commuting responsibly on that front.

May - Step 1

Returning to work

  • If you can continue to work from home, you carry on. Nothing to see here.
  • If you can't work from home, as of Wednesday, May 13 it's back to the grindstone for you.
  • If you can drive, walk, cycle, or use any other means of transportation that isn't public transport to get there, do so.
  • If using public transport is unavoidable, that's tough beans for you, but these services should also be following social distancing measures and may be running at reduced capacity.

Exercise

  • Popping outside to exercise is no longer limited to one instance per day. If you want to go for five runs every day, you go nuts. It's "unlimited".
  • You can travel to another location for exercise, so if you want to drive to the woods to give the dogs the chance to run free, you can.
  • You can play sports outside providing it's with members of the same household or on your lonesome, which is just embarrassing.
  • Sports venues like golf courses and tennis courts will be accessible from Wednesday, May 13 but again, you may only attend and play with members of your own household.

Enjoying the great outdoors

  • Yes, you can finally go and sit in a park with members of the same household - as long as you maintain social distancing rules
  • You're allowed to meet with one member of another household in the park as long as you stay two metres apart and observe social distancing rules. So practice raising your voice a bit during conversation to prepare for your reunion.

Fines

  • To ensure people don't throw caution to the wind and go absolutely mental after this taste of freedom, fines are being bumped up for the contingent of people who will continue to flout them
  • The initial £60 fine has been bumped up to £100, while subsequent violations will see that doubled, meaning someone playing silly buggers could be faced with up to £3,200 in fines

June - Step 2

  • Primary school pupils will be packed off back to daycare school from June 1, as long as the five key factors continue to be met and we're not all dropping dead again
  • Pupils' return will be done in stages, beginning with reception, Year 1, and Year 6.
  • Secondary school pupils facing exams next year will "get at least some time with their teachers" before the holidays
  • Phased reopening of shops

July - Step 3

  • Reopening of hospitality industry and other public places as long as data supports it

Again, the roadmap is based on the five key factors being met and on people maintaining social distancing, as well as the newly introduced threat level:

  • Protecting the NHS and its ability to cope under the strain of the pandemic
  • A sustained fall in deaths
  • Decrease in infection rate
  • Testing and PPE operational and logistical challenges must overcome
  • The measures that are rolled out can't risk a second spike for fear of overwhelming the NHS

So invest in a mask or make one if you can, and get ready for the economy to start creaking into action again, as we wait to see if these measures end in disaster or not. The Prime Minister added that the government will "shortly be setting out detailed guidance on how to make it wok in schools, in shops, and on transport" so stay tuned for that before Wednesday.