No end to coronavirus lockdown, Boris Johnson says as he announces new rules

10 May 2020, 19:14 | Updated: 10 May 2020, 19:31

By Adrian Sherling

The Prime Minister has insisted that the UK is not ready for the lifting of lockdown as he announced minor changes to the guidelines.

Boris Johnson revealed that people will now be allowed to sit in the park and exercise outdoors - as long as they obey strict social distancing guidelines.

He also said anyone who is not able to work from home - especially workers in construction and manufacturing - should be actively encouraged to go back to work.

But said it was too soon to loosen lockdown guidelines any further, in order to keep the infection rate low - the R rate - and avoid a second spike of coronavirus, which could overwhelm the NHS.

Under new rules, people can now:
- Take "unlimited" amounts of outdoor exercise
- Sit in the sun in a local park
- Drive "to other destinations"
- Play sports but only with members of your own household
- Go back to work but only where jobs cannot be done from home, for example construction and manufacturing

On ending the lockdown the PM said: "No, this is not the time simply to end the lockdown this week.

"Instead we are taking the first careful steps to modify our measures."

READ MORE: Should you report neighbours for breaking lockdown rules?

People will now be allowed to sit in parks under the new rules
People will now be allowed to sit in parks under the new rules. Picture: PA

This loosening of the lockdown restrictions will be monitored on both a national and local level and the rules may be tightened again in certain areas if an outbreak occurs.

Mr Johnson said: "If there are outbreaks, if there are problems, we will not hesitate to put on the brakes."

Warning against the lifting of the lockdown, he said in his message to the UK: "It depends on all of us - the entire country - to follow the advice, to observe the social distancing and to keep that R down.

"It is thanks to your effort and sacrifice in stopping the spread of this disease that the death rate is coming down and hospital admissions are coming down.'

"Thanks to you we have protected our NHS and saved many thousands of lives."

Boris Johnson announced the lockdown would be extended
Boris Johnson announced the lockdown would be extended. Picture: 10 Downing Street

The new rules announced will come into force on Wednesday, including unlimited exercise socially-distanced exercise outsite.

Mr Johnson said: "From this Wednesday we want to encourage people to take more and even unlimited amounts of outdoor exercise.

"You can sit in the sun in your local park, you can drive to other destinations, you can even play sports but only with members of your own household."

The three steps to loosening the lockdown
The three steps to loosening the lockdown. Picture: 10 Downing Street

Fines for breaking social distancing guidelines will be increased, the Prime Minister revealed.

The PM also set out how workplaces can become "Covid Secure" by following new guidance for employers.

He said that, from tomorrow, anyone who can't work from home, for instance those in construction and manufacturing, should be actively encouraged to go to work.

He added: "And we want it to be safe for you to get to work. So you should avoid public transport if at all possible, because we must and will maintain social distancing, and capacity will therefore be limited.

"So work from home if you can, but you should go to work if you can't work from home."

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