As of today, we enter Phase 3 of the Covid-19 lockdown easing. A number of changes are coming into play, several of which will be phased in over the next few weeks.
The most notable changes are as follows:-
Face coverings must be now worn in all shops in order to help reduce the spread of Covid-19. This follows on from the mandatory wearing of face coverings on all public transport. Fines of £60 can be imposed for failure to comply with this requirement.
Visting people indoors is now permitted but social distancing still needs to be maintained.
Most “non-essential” shops will be able to open up from next week, including those inside enclosed shopping centres.
Dentists, opticians, hairdressers and childcare are all set to start opening up within the next week or so.
Other “non-essential” businesses will be permitted to open in the coming weeks but different sectors will re-open on different dates and appropriate measures will need to be put in place to protect customers and staff in advance of opening.
Council services will start to re-open in the next few weeks, though some will resume before others. Firm dates are not yet available but information will be posted here as soon as this is known.
Lib Dem councillor Steve Delaney said, “It’s great to see society starting to return to normal, accepting of course that the new normal is not what it used to be. This process will take time but we’re now starting to move in the right direction and I’m sure everyone will welcome this”.
“All of this has been made possible as a result of the vast majority of people abiding by the restrictions in order to help bring the infection rate down. These changes come with significant risks unless we continue to abide by the current revised regulations”.
“There has been some confusion regarding people who are shielding as the initial guidance suggested a period of 12 weeks. People who are shielding should continue to do so until 31 July unless Government advice changes as they remain at significantly higher risk than most of us. Guidelines relating to this can be found here“.
“My view remains that we should enjoy once again being able partake in whatever activities we are comfortable with. Each individual needs to make their own personal judgement on what is safe for them, taking into account their own health and personal circumstances.”
“There are many things I will do now that the restrictions have been lifted but there are others which I will not. Everyone will be different and that’s how it should be”.
Fuller information on the stage 3 easing of lockdown can be found here.