Information on Cookies

To make the best use of our website, you'll need to make sure your web browser is set to accept cookies to ensure you receive the best experience.

For further information, please read our Cookies Policy.

Log In

Go To News
COVID-19 Licensing issues: PM announces first stage of lockdown relaxation in COVID-19 'conditional plan' for England Published Date: 11/05/2020

In his address to the nation on 10 May 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson made it clear that the relaxation of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions is subject to a conditional plan and that the Government 'would not hesitate to put the brakes on' if there are problems.

The immediate substantial changes are the lifting of restrictions on the amount of excercise which can be taken which is now unlimited in amount although still restricted to members of the same household excercising together, and workers that are unable to work from home being actively encouraged to return to work.   The 'Stay at Home' instruction  is now replaced with 'Stay Alert' and new guidance 'Staying alert and safe - social distancing' has been published today (11 May), which applies only in England and includes the following:

'It is still very important that people stay home unless necessary to go out for specific reasons set out in law. These include:

  • for work, where you cannot work from home
  • going to shops that are permitted to be open - to get things like food and medicine, and to collect goods ordered online or on the phone
  • to exercise or, from Wednesday 13 May, spend time outdoors for recreation
  • any medical need, to donate blood, avoid injury or illness, escape risk of harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person'

New guidance for employees to make workplaces COVID-secure are being established, and the social distancing requirements remain in force and will apply on public transport meaning capacity will be severely restricted.  The Government plans to counteract that with a £2 billion package to put cycling and walking at the heart of transport policy.  

The PM announced a new 'COVID Alert Level' (1 to 5 with 5 being the most severe and warranting total lockdown, and 1 meaning that COVID-19 is no longer present in the UK).  The country is currently at level 4.

Further steps in 'conditional plan' to exit lockdown were announced but it was stressed that these are very much subject to conditions being met, including the rate of infection 'R') remaining under 1:

  • Step two – at the earliest by June 1 – after half term – the possiblity of a phased reopening of shops and to get primary pupils back into schools, in stages, beginning with reception, Year 1 and Year 6.
  • Step three - at the earliest by July - and subject to all these conditions and further scientific advice; if and only if the numbers support it, potentia to re-open at least some of the hospitality industry and other public places, provided they are safe and enforce social distancing.

The hospitality industry has previously expressed concerns about any measures to re-open with social distancing requirements in place, with some questioning how social distancing can work in venues designed to bring people together.  Industry bodies have already reacted to the PM's announcements, and we have previously published articles on this:

Industry bodies respond to PM announcments on lockdown modifications and relaxation plan

IoL Chairman Daniel Davies: Lifting the lock-down and why we must get this right

UK Hospitality say 1m hospitality jobs at risk without reopening plan