Boris Johnson has declared the lockdown must stay in place and that he “cannot spell out now how fast, or slow, or when changes will be made”.
Mr Johnson said modifications would be announced in due course “with the maximum possible transparency”, while Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has said people will have to get used to a “new normal” due to coronavirus – with social distancing measures set to remain in place for “some time”.
But what might that “new normal” look like?
Shops and non-essential businesses
A move away from the current restrictions would include the continuation of social distancing.
Mr Rabb has suggested businesses and factories which have been shuttered since mid-March may need to change how they work and have in place the kind of social distancing measures enforced by the essential shops and other workplaces that have remained open, to keep employees and customers two metres apart.
This includes 2m queues, like those seen outside supermarkets and DIY stores, and one-way systems and plastic screens at tills to ensure there is no physical contact between staff and shoppers.
Offices have also had to enforce similar rules by changing floor layouts or limiting staff in the office to ensure the 2m rule is adhered too, with plenty of hand sanitisers and cleaning products available.
Clothing shops could reopen in a similar fashion, according to guidelines published by the British Retail Consortium, which has advised retailers to consider closing and restricting access to toilets and changing rooms.
Other measures include separate entrances and exists, discouraging cash payments and increased cleaning and hygiene habits.
Carmakers including Jaguar Land Rover, Aston Martin and Nissan have announced the gradual resumption of production at plants, which will also require physical distancing rules in place.
In Germany, Volkswagen has announced production capacity in the Wolfsburg plant will be around 10-15% to begin with, and reach around 40% of pre-crisis levels after a week.
The carmaker has overhauled its procedures to include extra hygiene measures. Workers have been told to measure their temperature and to get changed into their overalls at home, to prevent crowding in factory changing rooms.
Extra markings have been put on the factory floor so that workers are better able to adhere to a 1.5m social distancing rule (it is likely to remain 2m in the UK), and staff have been given extra time to disinfect their tools and surfaces.
Restaurants, cafes and pubs
Redesigned dining rooms, kitchens and beer gardens may be the way out of the lockdown for pubs, cafes and restaurants too, provided they can guarantee customers and staff stick to the 2m social distancing rule.
Countries including Austria and Italy have announced the reopening of establishments from May and June respectively.
Limits could be put on class sizes, as suggested by the Scottish government last week when it set out how it will approach plans to ease the lockdown.
“Classrooms may have to be redesigned to allow social distancing, so maybe not all children can go back to, and be at, school at the same time,” said Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
“Do we have to take classes and divide them into two, where half of the class is there one week and the other half another week?” she said. “Or one half in the morning and the other in the afternoon?”
Similar guidelines – spacing between desks, breaks at different times, facilities for washing hands and adequate supplies of disinfectant – have also been drawn-up by officials in Germany for a gradual reopening of schools from 4 May. Some states have already reopened schools, according to German media reports.
Such modifications have already been applied in Denmark, where children in certain year groups have been returning to nurseries and schools, while other students must continue to study from home.
Mr Raab has said it is “inconceivable” schools could reopen without “further measures” in place to stop the spread of the disease.
Ms Sturgeon has warned she could delay any lifting of the restrictions in Scotland if she thought the government at Westminster was moving too quickly.
Some firms and house-builders have started to reopen sites or have announced when operations will resume in May.
Among them is Taylor Wimpey, which has said it is using “detailed new site operating protocols developed in compliance with strict social distancing requirements”.
Chief executive Pete Redfern said last week: “We are now confident that we have clear plans and processes in place so we can safely start back on site in a phased way.”
However, construction union Unite has called for the Health and Safety Executive to ramp up site visits to police social distancing on sites.
New guidance from the Construction Leadership Council states that where workers are required to work within two metres of each other, they should “work side by side, or facing away from each other, rather than face to face”.
When this is impossible, workers should “keep this to 15 minutes or less where possible”.
Unite has written to Business Secretary Alok Sharma, claiming procedures have been “watered-down” compared with previous versions and saying this “undermines the safety of workers on construction sites and may even become a contributory factor to the spread of COVID-19 in our communities”.
Mr Raab said officials are also looking at possible sea and airport checks, with passengers arriving in the UK required to quarantine for 14 days. This would apply to foreign tourists and UK citizens.
It is believed that it could form part of the government’s “test, track and trace” policy to isolate new cases of the disease, further curbing its spread, as the numbers come down.
- UK records another 54,990 coronavirus cases and 454 deaths - an 80% rise in infections in a week - amid warnings more under 30s are in intensive care as NHS plans to send Covid patients to West Country to ease pressure on crisis-hit wards
- Is lockdown over now in the UK?
- Put England in third coronavirus lockdown now to stop 'catastrophe', say experts
- Happy New Lockdown! Just 4% of Britons say they WILL break Covid rules to celebrate with friends tonight despite government pleas to stay at home as police launch crackdown on illegal street parties and Trafalgar Square is fenced off
- Critically-ill Covid patients in London and south east will be sent to hospitals in the West Country to ease pressure on overwhelmed wards amid second wave as medics warn of more under 30s battling virus in intensive care
- Don't get over-excited! Boris warns many areas of UK are going into TOUGHER lockdown Tiers after Dec 2 and Christmas is the season to be 'jolly careful' - but says Easter is target for normality after Oxford vaccine breakthrough
- Liverpool's Labour-run city council calls for another national lockdown to stop spread of mutant Covid strain and prevent 'catastrophe'
- Operation Hope begins: 82-year-old dialysis patient is first Brit to get Oxford's Covid jab as Matt Hancock says he is 'incredibly worried' about super-infectious South African mutation 'that may beat vaccines'
- PM plunges England into even TOUGHER lockdown than March with all schools shut until at least mid-February, ban on takeaway pints and public only able to leave home if 'essential' as COVID alert is raised to top level and UK records 58,784 new cases
- Boris brings in the Army: 1,500 soldiers on standby to deliver Covid jabs if NHS staff fall ill as TWO THIRDS of GPs fear lockdown-ending target of 2million doses a week is unachievable and GP surgeries at front of roll-out have yet to receive any supply
- Who will we sacrifice to get out of lockdown? Return to normal life by Easter depends if No10 will accept immunising only a fraction of the 31million most vulnerable people and giving up on herd immunity
- How long will it take for the Covid vaccine to come to the rescue and get Britain out of lockdown? Experts fear restrictions may be in place until next winter as pressure grows on NHS to speed up programme
- UK Covid alert moves to highest Level 5 for first time ever with NHS at significant risk of being overwhelmed
- Holidays are BANNED and travelers arriving in the UK are 'set to be asked for a negative Covid test before being let in'
- Michael Gove warns March is the EARLIEST that brutal new lockdown can start to be eased - and that depends on government managing to vaccinate 13MILLION people in just seven weeks
- One in FIFTY people now have COVID Boris reveals as UK records another 830 deaths and 60,916 cases - but PM says 1.3million have now been vaccinated and pledges UK CAN get jabs to most vulnerable by mid-February despite fears he is 'over-promising'
- Supermarket lockdown rules for Asda, Aldi, Lidl, Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and M&S
- Lockdown is OFFICIAL: MPs back tough restrictions by 524 to 16 as Boris Johnson sees off rebellion from Tories demanding a hard end date to new curbs
- Vaccine drive FINALLY starts accelerating - but will it be enough to end lockdown before March? Approval time for doses is cut from twenty days to to five as GPs start CANCELLING jabs because doses have not been delivered
- Parents are urged to report their child's school to Ofsted if online lessons aren't up to scratch during lockdown
Coronavirus: 'The new normal' - This is how the UK might operate once lockdown is eased have 1553 words, post on news.sky.com at April 27, 2020. This is cached page on Konitono.News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.