Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced new lockdown easing rules throughout England coming into force from tomorrow, Monday June 1st.
The Prime Minister announced on Thursday that all five of the government’s tests for easing the lockdown are being met, so adjustments can begin to be made in England.
The biggest news includes allowing groups of up to six people to gather outside in public spaces or private gardens.
In the press conference, Johnson said: “I cannot and will not throw away all the gains we’ve made together and so the changes we’re making are limited and cautious. It’s thanks to the caution you’ve shown so far that all five met are being met.”
From Monday June 1st, you can now meet in groups of up to six people as long as you stick to the social distancing rules of staying two metres apart. You can also meet people from different households.
This means you can see both your parents or both your grandparents at the same time.
The meetings are limited to outside, unless you have to walk through the house to get to a garden where the meeting will take place.
Boris Johnson advised people to avoid seeing ‘too many households in quick succession’ to ‘avoid the risk of quick transmission from lots of different families’.
The rules remain the same regarding visiting someone inside their house: “It remains the case that people should not be inside the homes of their friends and families, unless it is to access the garden.”
With regards to shopping, most shops remain closed but outdoor markets and car showrooms will reopen from June 1st. It is expected that other non-essential shops will open on June 15th.
Schools will reopen to more children from June 1st to avoid ‘depriving children of their education’. Boris Johnson said: “On Monday we will start to put this right in a safe way by reopening nurseries and other early-years settings and reception year one and year six in primary schools.”
From June 15th, it is expected that schools will begin some face to face contact time for years 10 and 12.
Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chirs Whitty, said it is hoped that ‘relatively soon’ the number of infections will be low enough to let shielded people leave home,although they must remain shielding for now.
What you will be able to do from June 1st in England:
- Gather in groups of up to six people in public or private outdoor spaces, practising social distancing
- Reception, year one, year six and nursery age children are allowed to go back to school
- Visit outdoor retail spaces, including outdoor markets, car showrooms where social distancing is possible
This is on top of what you could already do in England:
- Travel to work if you cannot work from home, avoiding public transport and wearing face masks if you cannot.
- Spend unlimited time outdoors for sunbathing or picnics
- Travel to an outdoor open space irrespective of distance
- Take day trips to an outdoor open space in a private vehicle
- Meet one person from another household outdoors following social distancing guidelines
- Unlimited exercise
- Use tennis, basketball or golf courses
- Visit garden centres
- Students can return home if its permanent
- Go to property viewings
- Childminders/ Nannies can come to your house to look after your child
You still cannot do the following in England:
- Visit friends/family homes or stay overnight
- Exercise in an indoor sports court, gym or leisure centre including pools
- Use outdoor gyms or playgrounds
- Visit private or ticketed attractions
- Leave your home to stay at another home
- Share a private vehicle with another household
- Leave your home to stay at another home for a holiday / to visit second home
- Invite anyone other than close family/friends, or someone from the same household as the deceased to a funeral
- Breaking the lockdown rules could mean incurring a fine from £60 to £100
- Repeat offenders will see the fine double for each subsequent breach to a maximum of £3,200
Around 20 people involved in mass brawl ‘with knives’ in Piccadilly Gardens
The violence spilled out into the street
A large group of people were involved in a mass fight ‘with knives’ in Piccadilly Gardens last night.
Around 20 people were caught up in the large brawl on Monday evening, and according to reports some were armed with knives.
The fight took place outside Morrisons on the end of Oldham Street, and happened around 9:30pm.
Witnesses reported seeing some of the suspects carrying knives, although police didn’t recover any from the scene, and busses were forced to stop as the violence spread out onto the road.
Someone who witnessed the fight said on Twitter: “Piccadilly gardens is the roughest place on earth… a lovely night out helping ruined by a group of young kids kicking each others faces in”.
Officers responded to the incident, but no arrests were made or serious injuries reported.
This incident was the third of serious violence in just a few days.
Saturday afternoon saw another incident outside Morrisons in Piccadilly Gardens, in which a man was slashed in the face.
And on Sunday a brawl involving two tables at Barca bar in Castlefield happened, with some involved arming themselves with weapons like bar furniture and a baseball bat.
Leading scientists call for end of face masks and social distancing by June
Do you agree?
Leading scientists have written to the UK government calling for social distancing and face masks to be scrapped from June.
In total 22 scientists have signed the communication, saying that these measures should finish on June 22nd – the same date limits on social contact are set to be scrapped in England.
One of the scientists who has added their name to the letter is Dr Roland Salmon, the former director of the communicable disease centre in Wales.
Dr Salmon told BBC Radio Wales: “I am not venting my frustration but I do think some dialogue is well overdue.
“I have always felt that there has been little credible evidence benefit for many of the measures that we take.”
According to him, the letter was written to encourage the government to focus on protecting vulnerable people rather than the masses as we move forward.
Dr Salmon said we need to deal with the ‘here and now’ when asked about the threat of variants, going on to add that the vaccine has shown it helps prevent severe disease and death.
He added: “We can’t stop living forever while we wait for things to happen”.
Scientists who’ve signed the letter include Prof Robert Dingwall from Nottingham Trent University, who sits on the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG).
There’s also Prof Anthony Brookes, a geneticist and health data scientist at the University of Leicester, and Prof Carl Heneghan, director of the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine at Oxford University.
The letter reads: “We are being told simultaneously that we have successful vaccines and that major restrictions on everyday life must continue indefinitely. Both propositions cannot be true.
“We need to give more weight to the data on the actual success of the vaccines and less to theoretical risks of vaccine escape and/or surge in a largely vaccinated population.”
It continues: “Covid-19 no longer requires exceptional measures of control in everyday life, especially where there have been no evaluations and little credible evidence of benefit.
“Measures to reduce or discourage social interaction are extremely damaging to the mental health of citizens; to the education of children and young people; to people with disabilities; to new entrants to the workforce; and to the spontaneous personal connections from which innovation and enterprise emerge.”
Boris Johnson is regarded as ‘untrustworthy’ by six out of 10 voters
It follows weeks of allegations against the PM
According to a new poll Boris Johnson is seen as ‘untrustworthy’ by six out of 10 voters in Britain, with Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer seen as more trustworthy.
The poll from Ipsos MORI was shared by the Evening Standard, and comes after weeks of leaks and allegations about sleaze aimed at the prime minister.
The research found that Mr Johnson is trusted by just 35% of voters and deemed untrustworthy by 59%, while Sir Keir is seen as trustworthy by 42% and is untrusted by 41%.
Gideon Skinner, head of political research at Ipsos MORI, said: “On honesty Boris Johnson is clearly trumped by Keir Starmer, so this is an area of potential risk for him.
“However, his own supporters still trust him, and the public overall have never seen it as one of his strongest attributes … and as previous leaders such as Tony Blair have shown, you don’t have to be ahead on trust to win elections.
“The key question is whether and if these stories continue and start to change the public’s overall view on him as PM.”
The poll was taken following weeks of reports about murky donations being used to refurbish the prime minister’s flat, as well as disclosures about covert lobbying.
However, it was undertaken before the most recent allegations that Mr Johnson said he’d rather see ‘bodies pile high’ than have another lockdown, so those reports won’t have been taken into consideration by those polled.
Despite all the recent controversy, the prime minister and government’s net satisfaction hasn’t changed much since March, with both Mr Johnson (44 satisfied/50 dissatisfied) and Sir Keir (36/46) having net negative ratings.
Ipsos MORI interviewed 1090 adults across the UK by telephone from April 16th to the 22nd – you can find full details here.