Further easing of lockdown from 17 May 2021

Previously we reported the COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021 (Roadmap), outlining that the third step for easing the lockdown might start from 17 May 2021.

The article can be accessed here. https://valonline.org.uk/pm-announces-roadmap-to-ease-lockdown-restrictions/

On 10 May 2021 the Prime Minister (PM), Boris Johnson made a statement at the coronavirus press conference, explaining that with deaths and hospitalisations at their lowest levels since July 2020 and the UK’s four Chief Medical Officers agreeing a reduction in the alert level from 4 to 3, the data now supports moving to step 3 of the Covid-19 response -Spring 2021 roadmap in England from next Monday 17 May 2021.

This means the Rule of Six or two households that has applied outdoors, will now apply indoors and the limit for outdoor meetings will increase to 30.

The PM’s speech can be accessed here.

As  part of this on the 10 May 2021, the Department of Health and Social Care released a joint statement from the UK Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) recommending that the UK COVID-19 alert level move from level 4 to level 3. The statement can be accessed here.

As this further easing of lockdown comes about communities will now have the opportunity to meet with friends and family more. However, there is still  ongoing spread of COVID-19 in England and new Variants of Concern continue to be identified. On 10 May 2021, the Cabinet Office released some new guidance titled “Meeting friends and family Covid-19.”  It highlights that while no situation is risk-free, you can take steps to make meeting family and friends safer. Vaccines reduce (but do not eliminate) the chances of catching COVID-19 and passing it on, and of serious illness.

By following the steps in the guidance, you can help to protect yourself, your loved ones and those in your community. The guidance can be accessed here.

In addition to this, On 10 May 2021 the Cabinet Office updated the “(COVID-19) Coronavirus restrictions: what you can and cannot do “ guidance with a new summary explaining  how the rules will change on 17 May 2021

The changes include:

  • Indoor entertainment and attractions such as cinemas, theatres, concert halls, bowling alleys, casinos, amusement arcades, museums and children’s indoor play areas will be permitted to open with COVID-secure measures in place.
  • People will be able to attend indoor and outdoor events, including live performances, sporting events and business events. Attendance at these events will be capped according to venue type, and attendees should follow the COVID-secure measures set out by those venues
  • Indoor hospitality venues such as restaurants, pubs, bars and cafes can reopen.
  • Organised indoor sport will be able to take place for all (this includes gym classes). This must be organised by a business, charity or public body and the organiser must take reasonable measures to reduce the risk of transmission

For full details of the changes, the guidance can be accessed here.

We recommend that all local VCSE organisations read the relevant updates so that they can alter their services accordingly and advise their beneficiaries how to continue to keep safe.