PM Boris Johnson outlines shift in lockdown rules in address to the nation
PM Boris Johnson started his address by praising the British people for sticking to the lockdown thus far, explaining the catastrophic impact non-compliance would have had on the spread of the coronavirus in the county.
Changing rhetoric ever so slightly, Johnson said: "We must stay alert, we must continue to control the virus and save lives". Replacing to an extent the stay home message.
Johnson attempted in his address to provide clarity on how the virus would continue to be combatted and how to make society gradually fully functional again.
To continue to tackle the virus, the prime minister has introduced a COVID alert system run by a new joint bio-security centre.
The system is based on levels, which are calculated by adding together the rate of infection and the number of infections.
Levels will dictate how draconian social distancing measures have to be moving forward.
There are five levels; level one meaning the virus has left the UK and five meaning that there is a material risk of overwhelming the NHS.
Presently the country is preparing to de-esculate, moving from level four to three.
In order to work toward renewed mobility, Johnson encouraged those who couldn't work from home to reenter the workplace, giving the example of those working in manufacturing and construction.
Asking those going back to work however, to avoid public transport as much as possible in order to maintain social distancing.
The prime minister also announced the formulation of new guidance for workplaces is underway, to ensure secure working facilities.
Going out for exercise was increased from once a day to "unlimited amounts of outdoor exercise" from Wednesday.
The COVID alert system, manufacturing and construction industry workers returning and daily exercise being made limitless, constitutes step one of the plan.
Step two, which is the reopening of shops and schools, due to be enacted 1June 2020 at the earliest, will only commence after careful monitoring of the success of step one Johnson said.
Step three involves the reopening of hospitality industry services, but not date was given for this.
Johnson stressed that the plan in place was a "conditional plan", dependant on the UK's ability to satisfy the list of five set out by acting first minister at the time Dominic Raab.
"This is not the time to simply end the lockdown this week. We are taking the first careful steps to modify our measures and the first step is a change of emphasis, that we hope people will act on this week" said Johnson.
He added: "We've been through the initial peak but its coming down the mountain that is often more dangerous".
The prime minister said that more details would follow in Parliament today and in the daily virus briefing this evening.