Wear facemasks in shops and on public transport, government says
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People have been told to wear face coverings in enclosed settings such as public transport and some shops, the government has announced, as it published its “road map to recovery” from the coronavirus lockdown.
The new 50-page document, published just before prime minister Boris Johnson is due to deliver a statement in the House of Commons this afternoon, said one household may in future be allowed to join up with one other, in a so-called “bubble”, 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.
The document, titled ‘Our plan to rebuild: The UK government’sCovid-19 recovery strategy’, sets out what the government sees as being possible now, and what may be possible in the future.
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• 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,
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• 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, although not 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,
• 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), which 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.”