While lockdown restrictions eased further today, with the reopening of non-essential shops, there’s still more to come – and the next phase could see the reopening of pubs and hair salons.
The government’s current plan means we may be moving into phase three of the lockdown easing roadmap no earlier than July 4th. This is subject to it being safe to do so, and with regards to the latest scientific advice.
The biggest change, if it is deemed safe to move onto the next phase, will include the opening of personal care businesses such as hairdressers and beauty salons, pubs, leisure facilities and public places, as well as being able to see family indoors.
It’s great news for everyone who’s craving a pint and all those people who’ve had botched haircuts throughout lockdown!
Other businesses that could reopen properly again include cinemas, places of worship, food service providers, accommodation and beauty salons.
The ambition is to get these businesses back open, however, only if it is safe to do so. For instance, if a business can’t facilitate social distancing it shouldn’t consider reopening.
Ministers are looking into ways to get pubs open before July 4th with the use of beer gardens, terraces and marquees in an attempt to save the 3.5 million people employed by the hospitality industry.
The chancellor, Rishi Sunak, is said to be in favour of a full reopening of pubs and restaurants before July 4th, providing social distancing rules are in place.
If safety measures can be put in place, pubs in England could be back open by June 22nd, two weeks earlier than planned – although that date is looking unlikely as it creeps closer.
The government is expected to carefully phase and pilot the reopening of these higher-risk businesses and public places to ensure safety measures can be maintained.
Another change that is outlined in phase three is visiting family and friends indoors, if it is considered safe to do so.
The government has asked SAGE to examine whether it can change regulations regarding who people can meet.
It comes after considering those who are isolated and giving them more social contact. It also allows some families to return to work through sharing childcare.
It could be that households will be allowed to expand their household group to include another household in a new ‘exclusive group’. This system was adopted in New Zealand.
The 2-metre social distancing rule could also be relaxed in order to get schools fully open, and some ministers have called for this to be eased as it is ‘essential for the economy’.
The lockdown reviews have been extended to ‘align more closely with the period of time necessary to assess the impact of previous changes on key data feeds, including the R rate’, according to Health Secretary, Matt Hancock.
The next lockdown review will take place on Thursday June 25th.
Operation Forth Bridge: the full plan for what happens next after Prince Philip’s death
Buckingham Palace confirmed the sad news of his passing earlier today
Buckingham Palace announced this afternoon that HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh has died.
The 99-year-old, who would have celebrated his 100th birthday in June, passed away peacefully at Windsor Castle this morning, Friday April 9th.
Buckingham Palace said: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
“His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.
“Further announcements will be made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”
There were already strict procedures put in place for when Prince Philip died, which have now begun, and they’re known as Operation Forth Bridge.
According to the plan there are several steps that need to be followed, including everything from national mourning to a burial site for the Duke.
Operation Forth Bridge has been around for many years, with Buckingham Palace, in consultation with both the Queen and Prince Philip, regularly updating and reviewing it.
Part one of the operation was the announcement from Buckingham Palace confirming the death of the Duke, which was distributed to the Press Association and BBC first.
Then the country enters a period of national mourning, meaning a set of rules, like flags being flown at half-mast, must be followed.
According to reports, it’s thought newsreaders and other TV presenters must wear black out of respect.
Next, plans for the funeral will be drawn up, and while Prince Philip is entitled to a state funeral he reportedly wanted something more discreet – a private service in the style of a military funeral at St George’s Chapel in Windsor, followed by burial at Frogmore Gardens.
The funeral is still expected to be televised despite the current restrictions, although it remains unclear how many people will be able to attend it.
The Queen’s private secretary and senior adviser, Sir Edward Young, will be on hand to help her during the undoubtedly challenging days ahead.
As well as being responsible for supporting the Queen in her duties, Sir Edward is also the channel of communication between the Queen and the government.
Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, has died aged 99
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Prince Philip has died aged 99, Buckingham Palace has confirmed today.
A tweet on The Royal Family Twitter account announced the news.
The Duke of Edinburgh was born 1921, and was married to Queen Elizabeth II for more than 70 years – officially the longest-serving consort in British history.
The official announcement read: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
“His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.
“Further announcements will be made in due course.
“The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”
There’s been no official details about the Duke’s funeral released yet, however it has been reported that he will be given a royal ceremonial funeral rather than a state funeral, in line with his wishes.
Hairdressers told not to offer ‘long’ treatments like highlights when they reopen
Salons have been told not to offer ‘long’ treatments when they reopen on Monday, including things like highlights or braids.
To reduce the time customers spend being seen, the government is advising hairdressers to keep things ‘short and basic’.
According to government guidance, hair and beauty salons ‘should consider providing shorter, more basic treatments to keep the time to a minimum’.
People across the country have been looking forward to finally having their hair sorted out, after months without access to hairdressers and barbers due to lockdown.
In England salons will be able to reopen on Monday, April 12th, but some people will be gutted to discover they might not be able to book anything considered a ‘long’ or ‘complex’ procedure.
Things like highlights, braids or deep conditioning treatments could be classed as ‘long’ procedures, and lengthy massages might also be off the cards.
The official guidance goes on to say that if you are to perform a longer treatment, then workers should ‘consider how the length of the appointment could be minimised’.
Ministers have branded the rules ‘slapdash’, and there’s been calls for further clarity.
Labour MP Judith Cummins, who co-chairs Parliament’s group on beauty, aesthetics and wellbeing, told The Telegraph: “It’s very difficult to make a living if you’re given guidance that is very woolly and very unclear.
“What’s a short appointment, and what’s the medium appointment, and what’s a long appointment?
“I’ve got no idea, and I doubt whether the Government has any idea either.”