Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to present a “roadmap” to ease lockdown restrictions this weekend.
The Premier of Wales, Mark Drakeford, has said he wants to continue following a four-country foreclosure approach – but it is not clear to what extent the details of Mr. Johnson’s speech will apply to Wales.
Boris Johnson’s roadmap may contain measures to instill public confidence that he can, and that his children can, feel safe leaving their home when asked to do so.
How Wales will differentiate
Prime Minister Mark Drakeford has said he believes different nations in the UK should break out of the lock at the same time.
He said, “I agree with the Prime Minister, I support a four-nation approach.
“We entered together under the same conditions, the same day. I would like us to get out of the same conditions.
“But we will use the powers we have to refine the provisions to adapt them to Wales. “
What is the “roadmap” announcement?
Johnson is expected to make an address to the nation on Sunday detailing a “menu of options” on how the nation will break through lock-in restrictions and kick-start the economy while suppressing the spread of the virus.
The announcement will follow the government’s three-week mandatory review of social distancing measures on Thursday, with advisers scheduled to testify to deputies on Tuesday on progress made in meeting the five criteria needed to lift the restrictions.
When is it and how can I watch it?
The time has not been announced but on weekends the daily briefing is usually around 4:00 p.m. and we know it will be Sunday.
It will be broadcast live on Sky News, BBC, will be broadcast on the radio and WalesOnline will blog live the announcements as they go.
An address to the nation is generally a rare thing, but we had three in six weeks.
The first was Boris Johnson’s March 23 speech – announcing that the UK would be locked out.
Then it was the Queen’s turn to speak to the nation – her fourth in times of crisis or grief. She used the words of the famous song by Dame Vera Lynn to say to the UK that “we will see each other again”.
What are the tests?
Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said last month that relaxing the lockdowns would only be considered after the nation had passed five key tests to control the pandemic.
Prime Minister Mark Drakeford also announced that the Welsh government has set seven tests that will need to be completed before relaxing the lock-in restrictions in Wales.
He also announced that the Welsh government is developing a “Wales-wide surveillance, case identification and contract research program”.
In the Westminster tests, the first test is whether Britain has the capacity to treat seriously ill people with a coronavirus – which can be measured by spare beds in intensive care.
Hospitals have not been overwhelmed by patients so far in the pandemic and in most parts of the country, the number of people hospitalized with a coronavirus is starting to decrease.
This criterion therefore seems to have been met.
The second Westminster test is a sustained and steady decline in daily deaths from the coronavirus.
The number of daily hospital deaths peaked around April 8 in parts of the UK, and has dropped steadily since. In Wales, the number of patients requiring intensive care has declined following a peak in late March and early April.
However, the picture is less clear when deaths in the community are included, with some suggestions that deaths in nursing homes may further increase.
More data is needed to know clearly if this test has been passed.
The third test is the infection rate, or “R” value, remaining at a manageable level.
Currently, the R value is between 0.5 and 1, which means that each person infected with the virus transmits it to less than another person. But if R exceeds one, there could be another exponential increase in infections.
It is likely that this criterion has been met, but the government will be careful to ensure that the infection rate does not go up.
The fourth test is that operational challenges, including testing and PPE, are underway, with an offer capable of meeting future demand.
Given the global spread of the disease, the operational challenges related to the supply of PPE may continue for some time.
So far, this test does not appear to have been passed.
The final test is about confidence that any adjustment to current measures is unlikely to cause a second peak of infections.
All the measures described by the Prime Minister in his announcement on the “road map” will mainly aim to restore freedoms while keeping the R value below one.
What other measures are being taken to move towards relaxing the lock restrictions?
In addition to the five tests, the biggest factor in the decision to relax lock restrictions is the successful adoption of the Covid-19 government contact finder.
The NHS and Isle of Wight council staff are invited to download the Covid-19 smartphone app from Tuesday, with the rest of the Isle of Wight invited to follow on Thursday.
If the tests pass, they could be rolled out to the rest of the country in a matter of weeks.
The Welsh government is working with counterparts across the UK on the mobile app. Learn more here.
Should social distance continue after the blocking is lifted?
Some measures of social distancing will persist long after the relaxation of the locking measures.
Lancaster Duchy Chancellor Michael Gove warned Sunday that people should live with “some degree of restraint” until they can be immunized against the deadly disease – suggesting the British should accept “new normal” ” until there.
Guidelines have been prepared for businesses on how they should operate when the decision is made to relax lock restrictions.
Some of these measures are expected to include a reduction in the number of hot desks, the closure of elevators and canteens, and the encouragement of employers to incorporate staggered shifts.
Draft documents from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), viewed by the BBC and the Financial Times, indicate that additional cleaning should be introduced in office space and the use of Protective equipment should be considered when maintaining a distance of two meters between workers is not possible.
However, the government has received criticism from unions about the guidelines, saying there is no binding obligation on employers to provide safety.
Railway union bosses, in particular, have expressed disapproval of the government’s plans to increase public transportation services to meet higher demand and reduced capacity after restrictions lifted.
In a joint letter to the government, union leaders from Aslef, RMT and TSSA wrote: “We will not accept new work patterns that endanger the lives of rail workers and passengers. To be clear – we are not convinced this time for a safe escalation of services. ”
In response, the government said it was determined to continue talks with unions on the issue.
Doctors also raised concerns about the government’s plans to determine whether an age-based criterion could be taken into account in foreclosure decisions.
Ireland announced last week that it will embark on a five-point plan to reopen safely, starting May 18 and ending August 10.
Beginning with small social gatherings and easing restrictions on funerals and outdoor activities, then progressing to allow more social and travel freedoms, in August the Irish will once again be able to go to pubs and small festivals.