United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson has unveiled the “careful steps” the government will take to ease the emergency restrictions implemented as part of the nationwide lockdown, relaxing the government’s stay-at-home order and allowing some people to return to work.
“From this Wednesday, we want to encourage people to take more and even unlimited amounts of outdoor exercise,” Johnson said during his address to the nation on Sunday.
“You can sit in the sun in your local park, you can drive to other destinations, you can even play sports, but only with members of your own household,” the prime minister continued, cautioning that those who disregard social distancing guidelines will face an increased fine.
In his taped address from Downing Street, the prime minister also confirmed that all those who are unable to work from home — such as those in construction and manufacturing — will be “actively encouraged” to return to work as of Monday.
“Work from home if you can, but you should go to work if you can’t work from home and when you do go to work, if possible, do so by car or, even better, by walking or bicycle,” Johnson said. “We want it to be safe for you to get to work, so you should avoid public transport if at all possible, because we must and will maintain social distancing, and capacity will therefore be limited.”
While the stay-at-home order has been relaxed, Johnson affirmed that there will be “no immediate end” to the nationwide lockdown.
“This is not the time simply to end the lockdown this week…we are taking the first careful steps to modify our measures,” Johnson said.
“It would be madness now to throw away that achievement by allowing a second spike…we must stay alert. We must continue to control the virus and save lives,” he added.
According to the prime minister, all modifications in the government’s restrictions will be monitored closely at a local, regional and national level so as to avoid the risk of a second peak.
“If there are outbreaks, if there are problems, we will not hesitate to put on the brakes,” Johnson asserted.