Coronavirus crisis: Lockdown could start being lifted on May 26

Coronavirus crisis: Lockdown could start being lifted on May 26

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) may advise the lockdown last longer if infections are not shown to have fallen. A Number 10 source described May 26 as the most likely day for restrictions to be eased. But, they added, a final date was “very much a live conversation”.

This is the Tuesday after the second May bank holiday.

Plans are being drawn up to give businesses two weeks to prepare so they can ensure social distancing can be maintained.

The Track and Trace programme will begin on May 18, giving extra protection against a second wave.

A senior Government figure told The Sun “our best hope” was the last week of May.

 

However, not all sectors will be allowed to go back so soon.

Hospitality and entertainment are expected to remain closed for longer.

Other restrictions such as bans on social gatherings will likely continue to be enforced.

A senior official who was present when Boris Johnson explained his strategy to nine regional mayors said: “Boris was pretty upbeat and bullish about his plan, but pretty cautious about applying a timeframe.

READ MORE: Flights: When will flights resume?

A Cabinet source said: “We will need to do a massive confidence-building job as everyone is still terrified.

“We have to persuade people it’s safe to go back.

“It’s all well and good central Government saying, ‘do this now’ if the public don’t want to.

“The truth is, in terms of timing the public are as big agents in this as we are.”

Health Secretary Matt Hancock did not rule out parents facing fines if they did not send their children back.

He said: “We are not going to reopen schools if it isn’t safe.

Published at Fri, 01 May 2020 23:23:00 +0000