Covid-19 The Next Step
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As we emerge slowly but safely from the Coronavirus emergency, we look at how lifting restrictions will affect us all in the UK. As of June 1, the UK will progress from the strict first phase to phase two of lockdown
Currently, the UK is functioning at level four of the alert system. All going well, we should move naturally onto the next level – level three. If we were to progress to level three, the threat of COVID in the UK would remain but not with such severity as previously.
Lockdown Levels – What are the five levels of restrictions in the UK, and where are we now?
Below shows the various levels of transmission and cases of Covid-19 as per www.gov.uk The levels underpin where we are in terms of disease cases, rates and transmissions. The aim would be to reach level one eventually, and the UK government hope to get there through a phased roadmap with three phases all containing measures to lift restrictions and return to as normal as possible safely.
Ideally, the UK needs to reach phase three – where a reliable vaccine or treatment will wipe out the virus. Before that, however, we slowly enter phase two, where a stepwise approach will be rolled out. Smarter controls will replace restrictions of phase one. The government will seek to control the virus in phase two, and although it will be slow to evolve, it is a step in the right direction.
So, what next for the UK? What does phase two mean to us all?
Phase two will contain steps of changes such as:
- Schools reopening– (reception, year one and year six pupils, and some secondary schools from June 15 will start back) from Monday, June 1, so things certainly are looking up.
- Meet your friends and families – at last, but it must be outdoors and just up to six people can meet while maintaining a two-metre social distance.
- From June 15 non-essential shops will be permitted to
- The science bit – this level requires the R number (reproduction rate) to be below one (which presently it is just under 1). That is how many you stand to infect should you carry the virus-the lower the R number, the fewer people you will infect should you contract Covid-19.
- Those shielding can finally go outdoors from June 1.
A gradually phased exit will continue in the UK, but all the lifting of restrictions will depend heavily on the data. For example, if the virus appears to be returning according to the scientific data, then restrictions may need to be re-applied.
You can play your part in lifting restrictions
It is the government ministers who will ultimately decide on phased reopening based on scientific data; however, we all play a vital role here. If we follow the advice given, then we stand a better chance of moving to the next stage of reopening the UK.
That advice includes:
- Washing your hands- for the appropriate amount of time and in the proper fashion.
- Stay home where you can and work from home if possible.
- Cough etiquette – using a tissue to cough/sneeze into and bin it immediately.
- Avoid touching your face to avoid catching the virus.
- Social distancing- at least 2 metres (6 feet) apart always
- No hugging yet – it’s undoubtedly so challenging, but we have all done so well and come so far, let’s stick with it and hold out a little longer so we can soon hug our loved ones with all our might!
- Those 70 or over, shielding, vulnerable and those with underlying illness to remain vigilant
- Be alert!
It has been a challenge and an odd time, but we are moving in a positive direction. Let’s keep our nerve and battle on, and hopefully, if we all abide the rules, we will be back to pre-COVID-19 life sooner rather than later.