What will change when lockdown eases from Monday? Boris Johnson's new guidelines explained

Harriet Brewis
Getty Images

A “cautious” easing of the coronavirus lockdown in England will begin from Monday, enabling groups of families and friends to reunite outdoors.

Boris Johnson hailed the move as a “long-awaited and joyful moment” for many as he announced the plans at Thursday’s Downing Street briefing.

The Prime Minister urged the public to maintain two metres while meeting under “these new slightly relaxed social distancing guidelines.”

But what exactly will the new measures entail? And how will day-to-day life change from June 1?

From Monday groups of up to six people from outside one household can meet in private gardens for walks, barbecues and chats provided those from different households stay two metres apart.

But they will not be allowed to stay overnight, or go indoors other than to gain access to a garden, Mr Johnson said.

Until now, families and friendship groups have only been able to meet with one other person from outside their household, in public spaces such as parks, while obeying the two-metre rule.

The PM said the prospect of “perhaps seeing both parents at once, or both grandparents at once” will be a “long-awaited joyful moment” for many.

Schools

Schools will be reopened to more children from Monday.

Mr Johnson said kids had been “deprived of their education” as he announced nurseries, early-years settings, and Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 in primary schools would return to class in a “safe way”.

From June 15, secondary schools will begin to provide “some face to face contact time” for years 10 and 12, he added.

It comes despite pressure from education unions and councils who had urged the Government to reconsider its plans to open schools more widely, citing safety concerns.

Shops

Some shops are also set to reopen from Monday in a limited way.

Outdoor retail and car showrooms will be the first to open their doors to the public as those settings make social distancing “generally easier”, the PM said.

Two weeks later, on June 15, the Government intends to open other non-essential retail shops, such as fashion or homeware retail.

The Government has previously said stores will have to meet Covid-19 safety and security guidelines and has advised face coverings should be worn in some shops.

Other businesses, such as pubs, hairdressers and cinemas will have to wait until July before they can reopen, the Government has previously said.

Plans to reopen dentists have also been unveiled.

England's Chief Dental Officer Sara Hurley wrote in a letter shared by the British Society of ​Periodontology: ​"We are asking that all dental practices commence opening from Monday 8 June for all face to face care."

She said practices should assess whether they have the necessary IPC (infection prevention and control) and PPE (personal protective equipment) requirements in place before opening their doors.

‘Shielders’

More than two million clinically vulnerable people who have been asked to stay at home since the start of lockdown will be allowed outdoors once a day from Monday.

Those living alone will be able to meet outside with one other person from another household, provided they maintain safe social distancing.

People identified as being at particularly high risk of needing hospital treatment for coronavirus symptoms were sent a letter asking them to shield at home back in March.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said the new change does not amount to telling people to stop shielding.

He told the Downing Street briefing on Sunday: “We’re not today asking people, or advising people, to stop shielding.

“Far from it. What we’re saying to the people who have been shielding for the last 10 weeks is that we think that the rate of infection is sufficiently low now to enable you to do some quite modest things like going outside for a walk with members of your household, or like if you’ve been living alone, meeting somebody from another household.”

Read more

Lockdown to ease from Monday as death toll jumps by 377- LATEST

PM: Lockdown can be eased from Monday after five tests met

PM hints pubs could reopen before July as ministers to review lockdown

Government plans for all shops to reopen on June 15, PM announces

Up to 90 per cent of schools to reopen in some London boroughs