Covid-19 Update 17 May 2021
Covid-19 update – Today, Step 3 of the Prime Minister’s ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown for England is happening. Indoor socialising and dining will be permitted which Boris Johnson states is “very considerable step on the road back to normality”.
The criteria for easing lockdown has been met with PHE (Public Health England) confirming that Covid-19 vaccines have been “highly effective”.
Dining out, travelling, mixing and hugging
In real terms this means that from today, 17 May 2021, you’ll be able to dine indoors in restaurants and pubs. Also 6 people or 2 households can mix indoors, and overnight stays are permissible.
For those desperate for a break, the ban on holidays abroad is lifted for countries on the ‘green list’. These include Australia, Brunei, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Iceland, Israel and Jerusalem, New Zealand, Portugal and Singapore. Keep an eye on the government’s guidance as more countries move from amber to green.
Hugging is also allowed, and face masks are no longer necessary in secondary schools. Students at University will revert to in-person teaching, and theatres and cinemas will be reopening.
Whilst social distancing remains, the attendance at funerals will be defined by how many people can fit into outdoor and indoor spaces given social distancing rules.
21 June proposed end of restrictions
The decision to go ahead with Step 3 was made by Britain’s 4 chief medical officers, including Professor Chris Whitty.
Rates of infection are the lowest they have been since September 2020. Hospitalisations and deaths are the lowest since July 2020. Over two thirds of the adult population have been vaccinated.
21 June is the proposed date for the end of all restrictions. However, Dominic Raab, intimated that “some safeguards” are likely to continue after this date. And since the Prime Minister’s press conference last week, the danger of the ‘Indian variant’ has been mentioned several times. This could mean that the end date will be deferred.
What you can and can’t do
Here is a brief outline of what you can and cannot do from 17 May 2021:
- From May 17, groups of up to 6 people and two households will be allowed to meet indoors, so people can enter each other’s homes.
- Close friends and family can hug each other and will be able to make their own decisions regarding whether or not to social distance. Nevertheless, people are advised to “remain cautious”. However, social distancing restrictions will stay in place for business, retail, hospitality, medical and adult social care environments.
- Restaurants and pubs will open their indoor facilities today. The rule of 6 and 2 households will apply indoors. However, outdoors groups not exceeding 30 people will be permitted when dining al fresco or in beer gardens.
- There will be further easing of care home visits too. Residents can entertain no more than 5 visitors and they will have the freedom to leave their care homes to make “low risk” visits.
- Also today, face to face teaching will be applied on campus which will replace the online lectures students have become accustomed to in recent months. However, students should be tested for Covid-19 when they return to normal classes.
- As previously mentioned, the limit of 30 mourners at funerals is lifted. Venues such as funeral homes and places of worship will determine how many can attend given social distancing rules.
- Oddly, weddings and other special events including christenings, bar mitzvahs etc., will still be restricted to 30 guests.
- Support groups and parent and child groups are limited to 30 attendees not including children under 5 years of age.
- B&Bs, hotels, indoor sports venues, gyms, theatres and cinemas can all reopen today but new regulations will apply for different sizes of venues.
- Up to 4,000 people or half the capacity of the venue (whichever is the smaller) can gather on normal outdoor events. Indoor events are open to up to 1,000 attendees or half the venue capacity (whichever is the lowest).
- Larger venues with outdoor seating, such as Wembley Stadium, can accommodate up to 10,000 visitors, or a quarter of venue capacity (whichever is the lowest).
- Foreign travel restrictions change today. It will now be legal to travel abroad again for summer holidays etc. However, refer to the government’s traffic light system to learn which countries you are permitted to travel to and when. There are currently 12 countries/territories on the green list where you can travel without having to quarantine when you come back to the UK.
- On returning from destinations on the green list, holidaymakers may have to pay for pre-departure tests. Rapid lateral flow tests have been proposed by the government, free of charge to those travelling abroad. This will reduce the expense and difficulties obtaining pre-return tests in foreign countries.
Scientific advisors to the government state that nothing in current data suggests we will not be able to enjoy a relatively normal summer. But they say Covid-19 cases may increase around autumn.
Whether Boris Johnson’s “Freedom Day” on 21 June will happen is a matter for debate. The emergence of new variants is of concern as is the efficacy of current vaccines against them. The Indian variant has been identified in several areas of England.
Lie Detector Test UK Covid-19 update
As restrictions and rules change Lie Detector Test UK will provide a Covid-19 update for England. But you should check your local area for updates. Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales have their own rules that in some cases differ from England.
Our polygraph examiners continue to diligently find the truth in all matters. If you are in any doubt please call our Free Helpline on 0800 368 8277. Our friendly and discreet customer care staff can advise you which of our offices are open for lie detector tests. Alternatively, you can book online securely by click here.