The british prime minister boris johnson announced on sunday a cautious relaxation of the contact restrictions in the coronavirus pandemic for england.
"The number of deaths is tragic, the suffering immense," johnson said in a televised speech that evening. Nevertheless, it was possible to slow down the spread of the virus. Therefore, easing can now begin in slow steps, she said.
People are now being urged to be "vigilant" rather than stay at home. Those who can’t work from home should go back to work, respecting distance rules, johnson says. From next wednesday onwards, physical activities in the open air will be allowed again without restrictions, as long as they remain within the boundaries of one’s own household. Travel within england, for example to national parks or the coast, will also be permitted again.
At the beginning of june at the earliest, stores and schools could be opened again step by step. From july, it was possible to think of a partial opening of restaurants and businesses with public traffic.
Johnson also unveiled a system of five warning levels to be used in the future to assess the situation in the united kingdom. The classification will depend on the high transmission rate of the virus, which is now slightly below one. The conservative politician said he would present further details of his roadmap in parliament on monday.
The relaxations do not apply to the british parts of scotland, wales and northern ireland. Scottish head of government nicola sturgeon called on scots to continue to stay at home. She criticized the government’s message in london to be vigilant as vague. Opposition leader keir starmer of the labor party also criticized the changes as unclear.