Boris Johnson has announced new amendments to the lockout restrictions in light of progress made to stem the spread of the coronavirus. Speaking at tonight’s press conference, he said that new “bubbles of support” could be made to help those living alone or with children under the age of 18 to socialize and see members of their family.
- Social contact – from Saturday, households of single adults or parents with children under the age of 18 can form a “support bubble” with another household, which means that they can spend time together inside homes. They must be exclusive and cannot be switched to connect with other households. Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus should isolate themselves with their household. This does not include those who protect and who can expect an update at the end of the month.
- Stores – all stores can open from Monday, provided they meet the COVID-19 secure guidelines
- Outdoor attractions – zoos and cinemas can reopen from Monday
- Places of worship – for individual worship only, churches and the like may reopen from Monday
At the Downing Street briefing, the Prime Minister said, “We are making this change to support those who are particularly lonely because of the lockdowns.
“It is a targeted intervention to limit the most harmful effects of current social restrictions.
“It is absolutely not designed for people who are not qualified to start meeting inside the homes of others, as this is against the law. “
Johnson said, “We would like to make sure that those who are lonely and have not been able to see their families for a long time, the rest of their families, can do so. ”
The Prime Minister also gave an update on the reopening of schools.
Currently, years of reception, one and six are back in mainstream education, with other plans for more schoolchildren to be postponed until potentially after the summer vacation.
The Prime Minister said that the government’s ambitions remain to bring all students back to class in time for the next school year.
He said: “We have every intention of bringing all the children back to school in September, provided that the progress we make continues and I hope that will be the case.
“This is our goal and is in line with the approach taken by many other European countries. ”
He admitted that the government had been forced to move “slower than we would like in some areas”, including when the schools were reopened.
Johnson added, “This is because the infection rate is not low enough and because we are unable to change our advice on social distancing, including the smaller classes in the schools, that we are not pursuing our ambition to bring back all the students at least for a few weeks before the summer holidays. ”