10 things Boris Johnson announced ahead of rules easing next week

Prime Minister Boris Johnson chaired a press conference on Downing Street Monday afternoon setting out the next phase of the lockdown roadmap.

He was joined by the English chief physician Professor Chris Whitty and the chief scientific advisor Sir Patrick Vallance.

Mr Johnson on Monday April 12th confirmed a further relaxation of the UK lockdown rules that allow non-essential retail and beer gardens to reopen in just a week.

On Covid certification, Mr Johnson said there was no question that people would be asked to provide Covid status when they go to the shops, pub garden or hairdressers on Monday. He said they weren’t planning on doing Step 3 on May 17th either.

But he said the idea that vaccination status would be useful for international travel is being examined by all countries.

Mr Johnson said Covid certification has three ingredients – or three ways to provide security in a major mass event.

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Number one is your immunity – if you’ve had the virus in the past six months. Number two is the vaccination status and number three is the test.

The Prime Minister has announced that it has not yet been confirmed whether vacation abroad will be permitted from May 17.

Boris Johnson said at a press conference on Downing Street that the data they need to make the decision will be released later this week. Read more here.

What were the main points to be taken away from today’s press conference with Boris Johnson? Well, pubs, shops, gyms, and outdoor hair salons will reopen next week.

The government’s four tests have been passed, allowing restrictions to be further cautiously relaxed. Here we take a look at some of the key points that we can take away after today’s press conference after it has been confirmed that we can move on to stage two from April 12th.

1. Outdoor hospitality

Outdoor hospitality reopens in England next week after the Prime Minister confirms the roadmap is on the right track and planned facilities can be implemented.

Important parts of the indoor and outdoor facilities will reopen from April 12 after data confirms that the government’s “four tests” to ease Covid restrictions have been met.

There are no changes to the social interaction rules and there are still many restrictions in place. Outdoor gatherings still have to be limited to six people or two households, and you are not allowed to socialize indoors with anyone you don’t live with or with whom you haven’t formed a bubble of support.

Confirmation of step 2 of the roadmap would continue after the measures were agreed at a “Covid O” meeting and discussed today (Monday) in a cabinet visit.

Before proceeding with this step, the government examined the latest data to assess the impact of the first step, which began with the schools reopening on March 8th.

The assessment was based on four tests:

  • The vaccine delivery program continues successfully
  • There is evidence that vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospital stays and deaths among those vaccinated
  • Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospital admissions that would not put sustained pressure on the NHS
  • New types of concerns do not fundamentally change our assessment of the risks
  • As outlined in the roadmap, it will take approximately four weeks to see the impact in the data from the previous step

2. Shops, gyms and hairdressers

The government has also pledged to give companies an additional one week notice, provided by today’s update from the Prime Minister.

From Monday, April 12th, further rooms can be reopened – whereby the rules for social contact apply. Indoor settings may only be visited alone or with household groups, with outdoor settings limited to either six people or two households.

This does not include substantial retail; Personal care facilities such as hairdressers, beauty and nail salons; and indoor recreational facilities such as gyms and spas (but excluding saunas and steam rooms to be opened in step 3).

3. Stay overnight

Overnight stays in England outside of home are permitted. Independent accommodations can also be reopened, but can only be used by members of the same household or support bubble.

4. Public buildings and outdoor facilities and attractions

Public buildings such as libraries and community centers will also reopen.

Most of the grounds and attractions are also open to reopening, including outdoor hospitality, zoos, theme parks, drive-in theaters, and drive-in theater performances.

5. No curfew

Restaurants can be opened for outdoor service without having to serve an extensive meal in addition to alcohol and without a curfew. The requirement to eat and drink while sitting remains.

6. Work from home and on international holidays

People should continue to work from home where they can and minimize domestic travel where they can. International holidays are still illegal.

7. Nursing homes and activities for children

The number of nursing home goers also increases to two per resident, and all children can participate in all indoor children’s activities, including sports, regardless of the circumstances.

Groups of parents and children of up to 15 people (excluding children under five years of age) can restart indoors.

8. Funerals and weddings

Funerals can continue with up to 30 attendees. Weddings, outdoor receptions, and memorial services including guards can take place with up to 15 participants (in rooms that are allowed to be opened).

9. Update of the 4 reviews specified in the roadmap

The government is also releasing an update today on the 4 reviews set out in the roadmap to see what action might be required from the summer onwards.

10. Covid status certification system

In the coming months, a certification system with Covid status will be developed that will allow higher-risk settings to be opened more securely and with more participants. A system will be developed over the coming months that takes three factors into account: vaccination, recent negative test, or natural immunity (determined based on a positive test taken in the past six months).

Event pilots will take place from mid-April to test the system. All pilots check the Covid status. Initially, this is done solely through tests. However, in later pilots, vaccinations and acquired immunity are expected as alternative methods of demonstrating status.

Regarding Covid certification, Mr Johnson said there is no question of whether people will be asked to provide Covid status when they go to the shops, pub garden or hairdressers on Monday.

We’re not planning that for Step 3 on May 17th either, he says.

But the idea that vaccination status is useful for international travel is something all countries are worried about – I think that will be part of the way people will deal with it, he says.

He says Covid certification has three ingredients – or three ways to provide security in a major mass event.

Number one is your immunity – if you’ve had the virus in the past six months. Number two is the vaccination status and number three is the test.

The NHS is now offering free cross flow tests – I think they are an important part of the way forward, he says.

The idea of ​​Covid status certification raises complicated ethical and practical questions, he says.

For example, many people cannot get a vaccine for medical reasons. You have to be very careful how you deal with it and not start a discriminatory system, he says.

We want to do some test events over the next few weeks, big events like taking 20,000 people into Wembley on May 15th, he says. That will no doubt involve testing, adds the PM.

As far as the vote is concerned, we must first find out what the proposal is, but if there is something we can put to Parliament, we will. I want to emphasize that this will not happen in step 2 on Monday or in step 3 in May, he says.

During the press conference, Mr. Johnson also said “We cannot be complacent” – and urged people to get vaccinated and to use rapid tests.

For more information on what the press conference said, including NHS tests, the latest data, new variants, vaccinations and more, please visit our blog here.

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