This is what the lockdown changes mean for young people
Gonna get well into tennis, aren’t I
The government has released its 50-page roadmap, expanding on the plans laid out by Boris Johnson yesterday for the next stage of lockdown.
It’s 50 pages long and you should read it – its details will shape the next few months of your life. That said, a summary is also helpful.
Lockdown hasn’t been lifted, and a lot of the advice is just reminding you to do the things you were allowed to anyway.
However, a few things have been changed, and the document also gives a shape of how and when things might return to normal.
This is what the government’s new lockdown plan means for young people.
Yes, you can go and sit in the park with one person you don’t live with
The most notable change in the new guidance is that you’ll now be able to spend some time outdoors with a maximum of one other person not in your household.
However, this is subject to “continued compliance with social distancing guidelines to remain two metres (6ft) away from people outside your household; good hand hygiene, particularly with respect to shared surfaces.”
Since the document was released, the government has clarified that you’ll be able to meet people in parks, but not a garden.
Some sports, like tennis or fishing will also be allowed.
As there’s nothing specifically ruling out either tinnies or socially distanced Tinder dates, it looks like you’ll be able to enjoy either of these Great British pastimes. If you follow the rules.
They’re looking into ‘bubbles’, and how you might be able to see more people
SAGE is being asked to look at “whether, when and how it can safely change the regulations to allow people to expand their household group to include one other household”. One option is merging your existing “bubble” with one other “bubble” to create a new, two-household bubble.
This sounds nice and would of course be an improvement, but each household would only be allowed to pick one other household.
“If Household A merges with B, Household B cannot also elect to be in a group with Household C,” a footnote adds.
What does this mean? If you’re at home with your family, your mum is not going to pick your boyfriend’s household as the one other set of people your whole family gets to see, awkwardly socialising while you have the reunion nut you’ve been dreaming of. Were Neil Ferguson still a member of SAGE, at least there would be some hope for horny representation.
If you’re in a couple, imagine the arguments over where to spend Christmas, but multiplied. If you’re in a shared house with randos…good luck.
Obviously, this is at the “we’re asking SAGE to look into maybe how they’d possibly do things” stage, and not anything concrete.
Don’t get too excited about getting your hair cut and having a pint
Whilst the document details a potential path for hairdressers and pubs to reopen, it’s hedged in the language you’d use to talk about washing up.
The government’s ambition is to reopen “at least some” pubs and hairdressers “no earlier than” 4 July.
The document also adds that venues which are crowded by design may not be able to re-open safely at this point, and singles out beauty salons and nightclubs as venues where re-opening “may only be fully possible significantly later depending on the reduction in numbers of infections.
When and how this happens is based on the level of infections and how well business are able to operate in a socially distanced way.
There will be more severe punishments for breaking rules going forwards
As the months go on, the rule changes will be more subtle than “lockdown on” and “lockdown off”. To make sure people pay attention, the government has hinted punishments for breaking the rules may become more severe.
“The Government will also need to ensure robust enforcement measures to deter and reduce the threat from the small minority who elect not to act responsibly,” reads the advice. Fines will now go up to £3,600.
There’s nothing on students or universities
Are you surprised?