Countries across Europe, including the UK, are starting to gradually lift the current lockdown restrictions.
At the beginning of May, the UK’s slogan changed from “Stay home. Save lives.” to “Stay alert. Control the virus. Save lives.”
The government has set out its plan to slowly return life to as near normal as possible, for as many people as it can, in order to safeguard livelihoods, but in a way that is safe and continues to protect our NHS.
It’s important to note that some restrictions have started to be lifted only for the general public who are fit and healthy. This means that the lockdown restriction lifts do not apply to those who are unwell, people with pre-existing health conditions, and those who are in close contact with them.
If you are showing coronavirus symptoms, or if you or any of your household are self-isolating, the government's advice is to stay at home - this is critical to staying safe and saving lives.
What Does the Lockdown Lift Mean to The Fit and Healthy?
As lockdown is gradually being lifted, you might be wondering what you can do now that you couldn’t do before.
The government has confirmed that you can:
- Spend more time outdoors – for example sitting and enjoying the fresh air, picnicking, or sunbathing.
- Take a day trip to outdoor open space in a private vehicle.
- Meet 1 other person from a different household outdoors (following social distancing guidelines).
- Exercise outdoors as often as you wish (following social distancing guidelines).
- Use outdoor sports courts or facilities, such as a tennis or basketball court, or golf course – with members of your household, or one other person while staying 2 metres apart.
- Go to garden centres or National Parks.
The prime minister also confirmed anyone who cannot work from home will be "actively encouraged" to return to their workplaces. Everyone who cannot do their job from home such as food production, construction, manufacturing, logistics, distribution, and scientific research in laboratories should go to work.
Below we provide 10 government recommendations on how to keep yourself safe and healthy when the lockdown restrictions are lifted:
#1 Respect 2-metre Social Distancing Guidance
Members of the public are advised to continue staying at least 2 metres apart from people outside their household.
This is arguably even more relevant now that restrictions on meeting members of different households have been eased.
#2 Meet Only 1 Other Person Outside Your Household
You can now meet 1 other person from outside your household if you are outdoors. Public gatherings of more than 2 people from different households are prohibited in law.
#3 Don’t Meet People in Their or Your Home
For the time being, you cannot visit friends or family in your or their homes. You can only meet 1 person from a different household outdoors.
#4 Wash Your Clothes Regularly
Clothes should be washed regularly to prevent the spread of coronavirus, especially after people go outside, according to the new rules.
Scientists have seen evidence that the virus can stay on fabrics for several days, the guidance says.
The updated advice applies to people spending time with others outside their homes and to those returning to work.
#5 Try to Avoid Public Transport
People who can work from home should continue to do so "for the foreseeable future", adding that this will help minimise the risk of overcrowding on public transport.
Employees who cannot work from home have been asked to avoid using public transport where possible and instead drive, walk or cycle.
#6 Wear a Face Mask in Crowded Places
If you have to use public transport to get to work, it is advisable to wear face masks (or face coverings) in enclosed public spaces where social distancing is not possible. For example, on public transport or in some shops.
Face coverings can help us protect each other and reduce the spread of the disease if you are suffering from coronavirus, but not showing symptoms.
#7 Clean Surfaces Frequently
Surfaces at home and work should be cleaned frequently – evidence suggests the virus can exist for up to 72 hours on surfaces.
Frequent cleaning is particularly important for communal surfaces like door handles or lift buttons and communal areas like bathrooms and kitchens.
#8 Don’t Go to a Gym or Public Swimming Pool
You are not advised to exercise in an indoor sports court, gym or leisure centre, or go swimming in a public pool. This is because enclosed humid spaces provide a perfect environment for viruses to spread.
You can, however, exercise outdoors by yourself, with members of your household or with 1 other person outside of your household if you keep 2 meters apart.
You can also use outdoor sports courts or facilities, such as a tennis or basketball court, or golf course – which you can only use with members of your household, or 1 other person while staying 2 metres apart.
#9 Don’t Stay in Your Second Home
Many people have asked whether they can now go and stay in their 2nd home across the UK.
Leaving your home - the place you currently live in - to stay at another home for a holiday or other purpose is not allowed. This includes visiting second homes.
#10 Avoid Non-essential Travel Abroad
The FCO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. This is because any country or area may restrict or suspend travel due to the coronavirus pandemic without notice.
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