Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that the government could begin lifting coronavirus lockdown restrictions from Monday. Mr Johnson said that he would reveal his “roadmap” on Sunday (May-10), and the slow lifting of social distancing measures would occur the following day “if we possibly can”.
Addressing the House of Commons on Wednesday, Prime Minister Johnson said that the measures will be announced on Sunday, saying: “The reason for that is we need to make sure the data is going to support our ability to do this. That data is coming in continuously over the next few days. We want, if we possibly can, to get going with some of these measures on Monday.
“I think it would be a good thing, Mr Speaker, if people had an idea of what’s coming the following day,” he said, with the government suggesting that cafés with outdoor areas may be one of the businesses that could open next week.
The Times reports that the government may relax the rules of going outside and that more than one piece of exercise will be allowed a day, as well as the reopening of other outdoor activity venues such as for golf, tennis, and fishing.
A 50-page draft plan on easing lockdown measures seen by The Mirror adds that restaurants, pubs, and bars may be open by the end of the summer, with other restrictions being lifted in stages between now and October.
Picnics in parks may be allowed once again, so long as people remain 12 feet apart. A source told The Sun: “The PM wants people to know that all the effort they’ve put in is delivering progress, that six weeks of doing nothing has been worthwhile. “So we can now let off the brake a bit, and see what happens. If people abide by the new rules, we can then let off the brake a little bit more.”
The government, by law, must review the lockdown every three weeks. When Mr Johnson first imposed them on March 23rd, he had said: “I must give the British people a very simple instruction — you must stay at home. If you don’t follow the rules, the police will have the powers to enforce them, including through fines and dispersing gatherings.”
Police across the country have come under criticism for their heavy-handed approach to policing the lockdown, with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announcing that it would be reviewing all charges, convictions, and sentences handed out because of the government’s emergency lockdown law.
London’s Metropolitan Police Service confirmed that it would not be charging former government scientific adviser Professor Neil Ferguson who broke lockdown rules inspired by his pandemic modelling to meet with his married mistress. Following Prof Ferguson’s resignation, there have been calls for his research on which the restrictions were based to be released for review.
Conservative MP David Davis had said on Tuesday that “a bigger issue than Professor Ferguson’s private life is the accuracy of his model. When applied to the Swedish policy, it forecast 40,000 deaths by now, over 15 times the reality.” Mr Davis added: “We need the whole model, its assumptions and working in the public domain. We can no longer run our strategy on secret advice and potentially flawed calculations.”
No Lockdown In Sweden: Everything Is Awesome!