Watching other cities around the world come out of lockdown is a tantalising display, but just how close is London to starting its return to whatever is the new normal? The prime minister is set to deliver his ‘roadmap’ for getting the UK moving again on Sunday in an address to the nation. But in yesterday’s (Wednesday May 6) Prime Minister’s Questions, Boris Johnson hinted that restrictions for the country could be eased as early as Monday May 11, the day after his address, within his plans for ‘unlockdown’ (his word, not ours).
‘We want, if we possibly can, to get going with some of these measures on Monday,’ said Johnson. ‘It would be a good thing if the people had an idea of what’s coming the following day, that’s why I think Sunday, the weekend, is the best time to do it.’
So what do we know so far? The government is reviewing restrictions and lockdown measures today (Thursday May 7). The ‘stay at home’ message is expected to be left behind in favour of wording around simply staying safe, with Public Health England saying it was ‘reviewing all communications materials in anticipation of moving to the next phase of the government campaign.’
Lockdown looks set to stay in place, but with easing around outdoor activities and more freedom around exercise. Londoners are expected to be allowed to leave the house repeatedly in a single day, with sunbathing and picnicking potentially back on the agenda, too – just as long as it’s done at a safe distance.
The government’s focus, however, will be on how to get the economy moving and getting people back into work. It’s likely that places of work based outdoors will be the first to reopen, with garden centres potentially starting to trade again on Monday, too.
There’s also talk of a five-stage strategy to the easing of lockdown, with students returning to schools and outdoor gatherings likely to be included in the next phase in June.
For the long weekend ahead, though, read up on the current guidelines around exercising and going outside.
Most popular on Time Out
- Plans to ease London’s lockdown are set to be delivered this week
- Theatres will stay closed until 2021, says ‘Les Mis’ producer
- The National Theatre is streaming a free play every Thursday
- These local London garden centres will deliver plants to your door
- McDonald’s is reopening 15 restaurants – and four of them are in London