|From Monday, a carefully designed package of measures will come into force as we being to carefully ease some lockdown measures. But it is vital that everyone continues to stay alert, to control the virus and save lives.
|Thanks to the dedication of the British public, alongside the continued hard work of our NHS, that we are able today to move to step two of our recovery strategy and begin to carefully ease some lockdown measures.
But we must stay alert and it is absolutely vital that everyone continues to follow social distancing guidelines so that we can control the spread of the virus. The message to the public is simple: stay alert, control the virus, save lives.
|1) Firstly, as of yesterday, schools will reopen to more children.
|We are starting to reopen schools – in a safe way – by reopening nurseries and other early years settings and reception, Year 1 and Year 6 in primary schools.
On 15 June, secondary schools will begin to provide some face-to-face contact time for Years 10 and Year 12.
|2) Secondly, some shops will begin to reopen, as we restart our economy.
|Outdoor markets and car showrooms will be able to reopen, provided they meet Covid-secure guidelines.
On 15 June, we intend to reopen other non-essential retail – but only provided the five tests are still being met and shops have been made Covid-secure.
|3) Thirdly, up to six people can now meet outside, including in gardens and other private outdoor spaces – provided those from different households continue strictly to observe social distancing rules by staying two metres apart.
|The evidence shows that the risk of transmission is significantly lower outdoors and this step will mean that people can see more of their friends, family and loved ones.
To control the virus, everyone needs to stay alert, strictly observe social distancing rules and stay two metres apart from those who you do not live with.
You should also try to avoid seeing people from too many households in quick succession. It remains the case that people should not be inside the homes of their friends and families, unless it is to access the garden.
|As we take these small steps forward, we must stress that this progress is conditional and it remains critical that those from different households to stay two metres apart.
|We will see how these new changes are working, and look at the R value and the number of new infections before taking any further steps, so we can ensure anything we do does not risk a second peak that could overwhelm the NHS.
The new NHS Test and Trace programme will ensure we keep making progress in easing the lockdown while continuing to keep the virus under control.
There is no doubt that we are making progress and we are hopeful that in the coming weeks we may be able to do more. Because while protecting the health and safety of the British public is our number one priority, we must also work to restart our economy and society – so as many people as possible can begin returning to their way of life.
|From Monday, the 2.2 million people who are clinically extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 and have been ‘shielding’ will be able to go outside, as we continue to ease restrictions in a cautious and gradual way which means we can control the virus.
|We recognise that the last 10 weeks have been particularly challenging for everyone following shielding guidance.
From today, those advised to shield can now go outside with members of their household or meet one member of another household if they live alone, providing a much-needed boost to people most at risk who have made huge sacrifices. Social distancing must be followed strictly at all times.
We are determined to find the right balance between continuing to protect those at the greatest clinical risk, whilst easing restrictions on their daily lives to make the difficult situation more bearable – particularly enabling the contact with loved ones they and we all seek.
|Yesterday the Government announced the UK had met its 200,000 testing capacity target, giving us the biggest network of diagnostic testing facilities in British history and providing support to the NHS Test and Trace service that will help us control the spread of the virus and save lives.
|Last week, the Prime Minister announced that due to the hard work and dedication of the British people, the number of new cases and rate of infection is falling, and our five tests are now being met, enabling us to cautiously move to the next phase of our plan to reopen our economy and society.
In exceeding our 200,000 testing capacity target, we have reached another important milestone on our journey to control the spread of the virus – an incredible achievement that has seen us bring together the best minds from across government, the armed forces, scientific community and the private sector. But there is more to do.
By rapidly expanding testing capacity while pushing the number of daily infections down, we have been able to introduce the new NHS Test and Trace system that will be crucial to our ability to isolate new cases of the virus and continue to gradually and safely ease lockdown measures.
|We must stay alert, to control the virus, and save lives.
| We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert. This means you must:
– Stay at home as much as possible
– Work from home if you can
– Limit contact with other people
– Keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
– Wash your hands regularly
– Self-isolate if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.