The government has published its updated guidance in the fight against COVID-19 which applies in England – people in ScotlandWales and Northern Ireland should follow the specific rules in those parts of the UK. The guidance sets out a plan to return life to as near normal as it can, for as many people as it can, as quickly and fairly as possible in order to safeguard livelihoods, but in a way that is safe and continues to protect the NHS. As part of this plan:

  • People and employers should stay safe in public spaces and workplaces by following “Covid-19 secure” guidelines. This should enable more people to go back to work, where they cannot work from home, and encourage more vulnerable children and the children of critical workers to go to school or childcare as already permitted
  • People should stay safe when you leave home: washing hands regularly, maintaining social distancing, and not gathering in groups of more than two, except with members of the same household or for other specific exceptions set out in law
  • People must continue to stay home except for a limited set of reasons but - in line with scientific advice - can take part in more outdoor activities from Wednesday 13 May

The government has set out a roadmap for lifting further restrictions and opening more businesses and venues, but this plan is dependent on successfully controlling the spread of the virus. If the evidence shows sufficient progress is not being made in controlling the virus, then the lifting of restrictions may have to be delayed. If, after lifting restrictions, the government sees a concerning rise in the infection rate, then it may have to re-impose some restrictions in as targeted a way as possible.