This past Monday, England backed off a bit on its lockdown restrictions as the COVID-19 alert level of the United Kingdom’s was lowered down to a three. This allowed people to move about much more freely but still kept some guidance in place/
On Monday, Boris Johnson, British Prime Minister, stated that human contact will be allowed once again as the country tries its hand at loosening its restrictions as a result of the drop in new coronavirus cases. Johnson stated that people should use common sense due to the fact that social contact is the main vector of transmission for the spread of the virus.
As stated on the government’s website, the reopening of the public in the third step of its Roadmap will involve a number of rules.
The website stated:
“From Monday 17 May indoor hospitality can reopen and indoor entertainment can resume, including cinemas, museums, and children’s play areas.
Up to 6 people or 2 households will be able to meet indoors and up to 30 people outdoors.
All remaining outdoor entertainment can reopen, such as outdoor cinemas and performances. Some larger events will be able to take place, including conferences, theatre and concert performances, and sports events. Restrictions on the number of attendees will remain as set out in the Roadmap.
Guidance on meeting family and friends will be updated. The public can make informed, personal decisions on close contact, such as hugging, with their friends and family. Close contact continues to carry a risk of catching or spreading COVID-19, and people must consider the risk to themselves and to others. COVID-secure rules remain for the workplace and businesses, such as in shops and hospitality.”
As reported by the Associated Press, “[Johnson] also said people should remain vigilant to unexpected changes in the coronavirus data and the spread of new variants that could bypass some of the immunity provided by Britain’s successful vaccination campaign.”
The news source went on to state that roughly 53% of the population of England have received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and that about 25% have gone and received both doses of the vaccine. The British vaccine rollout has been called one of the fastest rollouts in the world.
“This unlocking amounts to a very considerable step on the road back to normality and I am confident we will be able to go further,” Johnson stated while at a briefing from Downing Street. “This doesn’t mean that we can suddenly throw caution to the wind … I urge you to think about the vulnerability of your loved ones whether they have had a vaccine, one or two doses, and whether there has been time for that vaccine to take effect.”
CNBC stated that when Johnson was questioned about hugging, he stated that “people should do it if you think it’s appropriate, if you think the risks are very very low.”
“But you should exercise care and common sense. And clearly with unvaccinated people there must be a greater risk of transmission than with those who have had vaccination,” he went on to add.
“Whoever I hug, I can assure you, it will be done with caution and restraint,” Johnsons stated while going on to add that the “1 metre plus” social-distancing rule used in businesses could be done away with in the next step of lockdown loosening on June 21st.