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Your questions answered on exercise, schools and returning to work

Coronavirus West Berkshire: Lockdown changes announced by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson

New advice on exercise, schools and returning to work

Unions, employers and parents have demanded further clarity from Boris Johnson about his lockdown plans after his highly-anticipated statement left many questions unanswered.

The Prime Minister has promised to give more details today after his Sunday night address tackled many areas including schooling, exercise and return to work, but left many scratching their heads.

These are the main things that changed with last night's address – along with the questions we still need answers to.

Am I still limited to how much I can exercise outdoors each day?

Not any more. From Wednesday people will be encouraged to take more outdoor exercise – even an unlimited amount.

Can I sunbathe?

Yes. People will be allowed to sit in the sun in their local parks, but you must only do so with members of your own household and remain socially distanced from others.

Can I drive elsewhere to enjoy the outdoors?

Yes, you can drive to other destinations but only with members of your own household.

When I’m outdoors can I play sports?

Yes, but again this must be limited to doing so only with members of your own household. There is now no time limit on exercise

What if I don’t obey the social distancing rules?

You could be fined, and the financial penalties will be increased in order to enforce the social distancing rules.

Can I return to work?

You should continue to work from home if you can, but if that’s not possible you should go to work.

Anyone who cannot work from home, perhaps those in construction and manufacturing “should be actively encouraged to go to work” from Monday, the PM said.

Mr Johnson will set out how workplaces can become “Covid-secure” by following new guidance for employers.

Are schools reopening?

Efforts could be made to get primary school children back in stages, starting with reception, Year 1 and Year 6 at the earliest by June 1, Mr Johnson said. Remaining primary school year groups could be added at later dates.

For secondary school pupils, the priority will be Years 10 and 12 with the aim being to 'get at least some time with their teachers' before the Summer holidays.

Can I use public transport?

Mr Johnson advised people to avoid public transport “if at all possible because we must and will maintain social distancing, and capacity will therefore be limited”.

When will shops reopen?

Garden centres will be allowed to reopen from Wednesday if they can comply with social distancing rules. A phased reopening of other shops could begin at the earliest by June 1, the PM said.

What about pubs?

The Prime Minster hopes to reopen "at least some of the hospitality industry subject to further scientific advice". This is likely to start with cafés with outdoor space, but pubs are likely to be last on the list because of difficulties maintaining social distancing measures.

The unanswered questions

The Prime Minister has been urged to provide clarity on a number of outstanding areas.

These include:

Will people be stopped from getting on to public transport because of the two-metre social distancing rules?
How will social distancing on public transport be monitored?
How will any subsequent increase in Covid-19 cases in workplaces be monitored?
If someone has been furloughed, and now cannot return to work due to childcare issues, will they still be supported?
Why does the Government believe a quarantine for UK arrivals at airports will be effective now, when they did not bring in such a measure before?
Will people arriving by sea also be quarantined?

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Article comments

  • Numptyboy

    11/05/2020 - 12:55

    Sorry if I’m being a bit stupid here but reading this I could drive to Weymouth and walk on the beach with my partner Is it me or should there be a mileage restriction


    • anorak

      11/05/2020 - 18:54

      My understanding is that there is no mileage restriction, so yes; you could exercise in Weymouth.


      • Numptyboy

        11/05/2020 - 20:43

        I don't even like weymouth much so just an example but it sounds like you could move the virus over a larger distance