Atherstone advised to wear face coverings ‘in some settings’ as 50-page road map on next stage of fight against coronavirus is published

  Posted: 11.05.20 at 15:28 by Nick Hudson

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HOW WE MIGHT HAVE TO LIVE WITH SOCIAL DISTANCING MEASURES IN THE LONG TERM

ATHERSTONE and beyond has been told to cover up ”in some settings” to prevent the spread of coronavirus in future.

The nation should wear face masks in enclosed spaces where social distancing isn’t possible, the Government has said as it published its ‘road map’ which could include people being able to link up with one other household in a "bubble".

The new 50-page document, published just before Boris Johnson is due to deliver a Commons statement at 3,30pm, said one household may in future be allowed to join up with one other as a way of easing the long-term restrictions on people's lives.

Government scientific advisers have been asked to look at the model going forward as England gets set to live with social distancing measures in the long-term.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps tweeted on the new guidance: "Consider wearing a face-covering where social distancing isn’t possible at every moment, e.g. on public transport.

"The evidence suggests that wearing a face-covering does not protect you, but it may protect others if you are infected but have not developed symptoms."

Holidays may not happen until the middle of the summer as the new ‘roadmap’ for easing the Covid-19 lockdown warns hotels will not open until July 4 at the earliest.

Travel accommodation, which includes hotels and holiday lets, will only be able to open if the country passes five tests including a reduced pressure on the NHS, a falling number of coronavirus cases, the rate of infection decreasing, a consistent amount of PPE equipment and no risk of a second infection period.

However, for hotels and holiday homes to open, they will have to meet “Covid-19 Secure guidelines” as well.

Pubs, hairdressers and cinemas will also have to pass the five-test bar before they can reopen.

The plan sets out what the Government sees as being possible now and what may be possible in the future.

It says:
- International travellers will be asked to quarantine for 14 days when they enter the country, either in accommodation of their choice or provided by the Government if there are no other options;
- The Government's ambition is that all primary school children will be able to go to school for a month before the summer holidays;
- Non-essential retail could be able to open no earlier than June 1 if it can be proven they can keep people safe;
- Those who are shielding should continue to shield though it may become clear that those less at risk can be given more freedoms;
- The Government is examining "how to enable people to gather in slightly larger groups to better facilitate small weddings";
- Face coverings should be worn in enclosed spaces such as public transport and some shops. They should not be worn by the under-twos, young children who will find them hard to manage and those with respiratory conditions;
- Those who are not in the shielded group but who are more vulnerable to Covid-19, such as the over-70s, should "continue to take particular care to minimise contact with others outside their households, but do not need to be shielded”;
- Cultural and sporting events will be able to take place behind closed doors for broadcast from next month, avoiding the risk of large-scale social contact; and
- No earlier than July 4, the ambition is to "open at least some of the remaining businesses and premises that have been required to close, including personal care (such as hairdressers and beauty salons), hospitality (such as food service providers, pubs and accommodation), public places (such as places of worship) and leisure facilities (like cinemas). They will need to meet "Covid secure" guidelines and some may not meet the requirement.

The document also sets out how restrictions may be lifted and implemented on a regional basis, depending on local levels of infection.

The document says: "The Government may adjust restrictions in some regions before others: a greater risk in Cornwall should not lead to disproportionate restrictions in Newcastle if the risk is lower."

Another 210 people with Covid-19 have died in the UK, according to the Department of Health.

It brings the tally in the UK to 32,065.

The new document comes as a poll reveals less than a third of people say they know what the Government's new "stay alert" coronavirus message is asking them to do, according to a poll.

Researchers also found the public is almost evenly divided on whether they support the partial easing of the lockdown announced by the Prime Minister last night.

The overwhelming majority of people, 91 per cent, say the previous slogan "Stay home, protect the NHS, save lives" made it clear what they were supposed to do.

But just 30 per cent say they think they know what the new "Stay alert, control the virus, save lives" slogan means.

The YouGov survey for ITV's Good Morning Britain said 44 per cent of voters backed the moves to partially ease restrictions while 43 per cent opposed them.

However, the poll found 46 per cent think the changes go too far in easing the rules, 10 per cent say they do not go far enough while 35 per cent say the balance is about right.

The survey comes after Mr Johnson encouraged people like construction workers to return to employment.

In a broadcast from Downing Street on Sunday, the PM said a phased reopening of schools and non-essential shops in England could potentially begin from June 1 if transmission can be reduced.

On a less optimistic note, the PM said we may never find a vaccine, stressing that Britain could expect “large epidemic waves” of Covid-19 in future.

Footnote: For those interested in the finer details, here is the road map titled Our Plan To Rebuild: The UK Government’s Covid-19 recovery strategy here.

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