British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday announced a phased plan for reopening the country in June while cautioning that there was “no immediate end to the lockdown” imposed seven weeks ago aimed to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Johnson—who faced backlash for his decision to drop the “stay at home” slogan and replace it with the more ambiguous instruction to “stay alert”—said that those who are not able to work from home are “actively encouraged” to go to work starting Monday but avoid using public transport.
On June 1, shops will be allowed to reopen as well as nurseries and primary schools. However, there are no plans for older students to return to school before the next school year, he said. In July, Johnson said the goal is to “reopen at least some of the hospitality industry and other public places, provided they are safe and enforce social distancing,” including some pubs and restaurants.
On Wednesday, people will be allowed to exercise outdoors for an unlimited amount of time rather than the current restriction of once per day. “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 said.
Johnson also announced stricter rules for travelers arriving in the United Kingdom, requiring them to self-quarantine for 14 days to “prevent reinfection from abroad.”
Opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer of Britain’s Labour Party told Sky News that Johnson had failed to provide “clarity and consensus” in his speech; and that England, Scotland, and Wales were now “pulling in different directions” when it came to coronavirus guidance.