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New Covid-19 Guidelines 

Public spaces / outdoor activities / exercise

What can I do that I couldn’t do before?

There will be a limited number of things you can do on that you cannot do now: 

  • spend time outdoors – for example sitting and enjoying the fresh air, picnicking, or sunbathing
  • meet one 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 a garden centre

At all times, should continue to observe social distancing guidelines when you are outside your home, including ensuring you are 2 metres away from anyone outside your household. As with before, you cannot:

  • visit friends and family in their homes
  • exercise in an indoor sports court, gym or leisure centre, or go swimming in a public pool
  • use an outdoor gym or playground
  • visit a private or ticketed attraction
  • gather in a group of more than two (excluding members of your own household), except for a few specific exceptions set out in law (for work, funerals, house moves, supporting the vulnerable, in emergencies and to fulfil legal obligations)

If you are showing coronavirus symptoms, or if you or any of your household are self-isolating, you should stay at home - this is critical to staying safe and saving lives.

I don’t have to stay at home anymore?

You should stay at home as much as possible. The reasons you may leave home include:

  • for work, where you cannot work from home
  • going to shops that are permitted to be open - to get things like food and medicine
  • to exercise or spend time outdoors
  • any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid injury or illness, escape risk of harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person

These reasons are exceptions and a fuller list is set out in the regulations.

Even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent away from the home and ensuring that you are two metres apart from anyone outside of your household.

Can I meet my friends and family in the park?

You can meet one other person from outside your household if you are outdoors. Public gatherings of more than 2 people from different households are prohibited in law. There are no limits on gatherings in the park with members of your household.

You can find more information on a range of activities and outdoor exercise here.

Vulnerable groups, shielding, 70 year olds and over

Does easing restrictions apply to healthy 70 year olds and over?

The advice for those aged 70 and over continues to be that they should take particular care to minimise contact with others outside their household.

If they do go out more frequently, they should be careful to maintain distance from others. They and everyone should continue to comply with any general social distancing restrictions.

We know that those aged 70 and over can be absolutely fit and healthy and it’s not the case that everybody over 70 has a chronic health condition or an underlying disease.

But unfortunately, we also know that as you get older, there is a higher risk of coronavirus having a more serious impact with infection. Complications and deaths are more common in the elderly, even those without pre-existing conditions.

Anyone who has been advised to shield by the NHS or their GP, including those 70 and over, should continue to do this until at least the end of June.

How long will shielding be in place?

We’ve advised individuals with very specific medical conditions to shield until the end of June and to do everything they can to stay at home. This is because we believe they are likely to be at the greatest risk of serious complications from coronavirus.

We know this is challenging guidance to follow, which is why we have a support scheme in place to provide help with access to food and basic supplies, care, medicines and social support.

We are keeping the guidance to shielded people under review.

Going to work / Safer spaces

Who is allowed to go to work?

In the first instance, employers should make every effort to support working from home, including by providing suitable IT and equipment as they have been already. This will apply to many different types of businesses, particularly those who typically would have worked in offices or online.

Where work can only be done in the workplace, we have set out tailored guidelines for employers to help protect their workforce and customers from coronavirus while still continuing to trade or getting their business back up and running. We will be publishing even more detailed COVID-19 secure guidelines in the coming days, which has been developed in consultation with businesses and trades unions.

These ‘back to work’ guidelines apply to those in essential retail like:

  • supermarkets
  • those in construction and manufacturing
  • those working in labs and research facilities
  • those administering takeaways and deliveries at restaurants and cafes
  • tradesmen, cleaners and others who work in people’s homes
  • those who are facilitating trade or transport goods
  • and so on

Non-essential retail, restaurants, pubs, bars, gyms and leisure centres will remain closed. They will reopen in a phased manner provided it is safe to do so.

Do people need to wear face coverings at work?

Face coverings are not compulsory. However, if you can, people are advised to wear face coverings in enclosed public spaces where social distancing is not possible or where you are more likely to come into contact with people you do not normally meet. 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.

A face covering is not the same as the surgical masks or respirators used as part of personal protective equipment by healthcare and other workers; these should continue to be reserved for those who need them to protect against risks in their workplace such as health and care workers and those in industrial settings like those exposed to dust hazards.

Public Transport

Who is allowed to travel on public transport?

If you cannot work from home and have to travel to work, or if you must make an essential journey, you should cycle or walk wherever possible. Before you travel on public transport, consider if your journey is necessary and if you can, stay local. Try to reduce your travel. This will help keep the transport network running and allows people who need to make essential journeys to travel.

We’ll be setting out further guidance for passengers with more advice on how to stay safe during your journeys later this week.

Should people wear face coverings on public transport?

If you can, wear a face covering in an enclosed space where social distancing isn’t possible and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet. This is most relevant for short periods indoors in crowded areas, for example on public transport or in some shops. The evidence suggests that 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.

If people choose to wear them, we are asking people to make their own face coverings at home, using scarves or other textile items. We are publishing guidance to help illustrate the process.

We urge the public not to purchase medical or surgical masks as these should be reserved for health and social care workers.

Can I use public transport to get to green spaces?

You should avoid using public transport wherever possible.

Schools and Childcare

Can children go back to early years settings, schools or university?

We initially urge those who are currently eligible to use school provision (children of critical workers and vulnerable children) to attend. As soon as it is safe to do so we will bring more year groups back to school in a phased way when it is safe to have larger numbers of children within schools, but not before. Keeping children and staff safe is our utmost priority.

Schools should prepare to begin opening for more children from 1 June. The government expects children to be able to return to early years settings, and for Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 to be back in school in smaller class sizes from this point.

Secondary schools and further education colleges should also prepare to begin some face to face contact with Year 10 and 12 pupils who have key exams next year, in support of their continued remote, home learning.

The government’s ambition is for all primary school children to return to school before the summer for a month if feasible.

How will you make sure it is safe?

Schools can now operate if they are organised in a way that is compatible with minimising the spread of the virus. The next phase of measures will require the development of new safety standards to set out how physical spaces, including schools, can be adapted to operate safely.

We will publish guidance advising schools on reopening to ensure schools can adequately prepare for the next phase. One of the main protective measures we can take to reduce transmission is to have small consistent group and class sizes.

Will children have to wear face coverings at school?

No this will not be required. We will publish further advice on protective measures in schools in the coming weeks.

Coronavirus Outbreak FAQs: Further detail on what you can and can't do

The government has set out its plan to return life to as near normal as we can, for as many people as we can, as quickly and fairly as possible in order to safeguard livelihoods, but in a way that is safe and continues to protect our NHS.

The government has published staying safe outside your home for guidance on what the new rules will mean. These will take effect on Wednesday.  Click on the link for further information.

Please note that further guidance on safe workplaces, reopening schools and travelling safely will all be published later today. Guidance on borders will follow later this week. 

BBC Front Page News

Boris Johnson backs key aide Dominic Cummings in lockdown row

Boris Johnson says his adviser acted "legally and with integrity" when making a 260-mile trip for childcare.

Coronavirus: Schools in England reopening on 1 June confirmed, PM says

Some year groups in England will return on 1 June, with others going back two weeks later, he says.

Netanyahu trial: Israeli prime minister faces Jerusalem court

The country is gripped by the spectacle of a serving leader being tried for the first time.

Fresh UK review into Huawei role in 5G networks

The National Cyber Security Centre involvement follows new US sanctions on Chinese telecoms giant.

AskTen - Nine things you may not have noticed last week!

1. How to become a good mentor. Leaders must be good at judging others’ potential and finding and developing more leaders - good at discerning where a person is, knowing where he or she is supposed to go and providing what they will need when they get there. The bottom line in any successful organisation is that no one person can do it alone. If you really want to be an effective leader you must establish an effective team. Here are some guidelines for selecting the right people to mentor and develop. MORE>>

2. How work can change, post-pandemic. The global pandemic has upended working life for vast portions of the professional world, forcing millions of people to quickly adapt to remote work and fresh challenges of all kinds. But despite the dire circumstances, this crisis may help us see how work can change for the better. Employers may embrace the benefits of flexible, remote work. Business leaders may become more adept at quickly shifting strategic gears to adapt to new circumstances. And now that our colleagues have gained a glimpse into our personal lives via video meetings, we may grow more comfortable showing more of our self at work. Editor

3. Britons in lockdown exhibit one of three mental states. The response of Britons in lockdown can be divided into three categories - accepting, suffering or resisting, according to new research by a team at King’s College London. The experts say that 48% of people accept their confinement, 44% suffer because of it, and 9% resist the lockdown. Young people were the most likely be in the resisting group, which was 64% male, while people aged between 55 and 75 were most likely to accept the restrictions. Daily Mail

4. Personal standards slip during lockdown. Suspicion that people are letting some standards slip in lockdown has been confirmed by Unilever: it says worldwide sales of personal grooming products such as shampoo have fallen significantly in the past few weeks, and that it suspects sales of deodorant are going to be lower than normal too. On the other hand, its cleaning products such as Cif and Domestos are flying off the shelves. Financial Times

5. Captain Tom Moore turns 100. The appeal by NHS fundraiser Captain Tom Moore topped £32m as he celebrated his 100th birthday. The war veteran was treated to an RAF fly-past, a letter from the Queen, a recorded message from Boris Johnson, a promotion to honorary colonel, more than 150,000 birthday cards from the public, and a post-mark from the Royal Mail, in honour of his efforts to raise funds for the health service by walking laps of the garden at his Bedfordshire home. The Telegraph


5. The link between COVID-19 and obesity. Government scientists are investigating whether Britain’s high death toll is the result of the obesity crisis after it emerged that the proportion of severely obese patients in intensive care with CV-19 is twice the proportion of servery obese people in the general population. With that in mind, here’s how to work out your BMI. Divide your weight in kilograms by your height (in metres) squared. So if you are 180cm tall and weigh 80kiliograms (like me), your body mass index (BMI) is 80/(1.80²)=24.7. A healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9; between 25 and 29.9 means you are overweight; 30-39.9 is obese; 40+ is morbidly obese. Editor

6. Podcasts to inform and entertain. If you are using podcasts to keep up with the corona-crisis, rather than get away from it, you’re spoiled for choice. The World Service’s Coronavirus Global Update provides an excellent, snappy overview” courtesy of international correspondents. The Coronavirus Newscast is Brexitcast, but coronafied; upbeat and insider-y. LBC’s daily pod, Coronavirus UK, has Nick Ferrari grilling guests. But the pick of the corona pods is The Coronavirus Diaries, weekly from BBC Sounds and 5 Live, in which healthcare workers report from the front line. The Observer

7. Is lower air pollution under lockdown saving lives? Improvements in air quality during coronavirus lockdowns have resulted in 11,000 fewer deaths across Europe over the past month, according to a new study. Researchers at the Helsinki-based Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) say the effects of the significant reduction in air travel and road traffic are comparable to “everyone in Europe stopping smoking for a month”. The Sun

9. All change at number 10.  Boris Johnson, 55, is only the third divorced prime minister since 1721, but the first to be divorced twice. Meanwhile Ms Symonds, 32, is the youngest partner of a PM in 173 years. Whilst they are the first unmarried couple to live in Downing Street, it is not an unusual arrangement elsewhere in the UK with co-habiting unmarried couples now the fastest-growing family type in the UK, according to the ONS. BBC

10. The bottom line. As men are more vulnerable to COVID-19 than women, has anyone considered letting women and children out of lockdown first? We could run the country for a few weeks and see how things go while the men could stay at home baking banana bread and clapping for carers. This was a suggestion received from a female subscriber to this newsletter. Editor

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