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Next steps of UK lockdown 'to include face masks at work, more cycle lanes and visitor quarantine'

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 09/05/2020 Stephanie Cockroft

In pictures: Coronavirus outbreak (Photos)

The next steps in the UK’s lockdown plan are becoming clearer after the Government indicated it would reopen garden centres, encourage commuters to use bikes and potentially quarantine foreign visitors.

The measures are said to be part of a “road map” which the Prime Minister will unveil during his address to the nation on Sunday evening, setting out the stages for lifting the lockdown.

In one reported move, those arriving into the the country from airports or ports will have to fill in a digital form and declare an address where they will then be expected to self-isolate for 14 days.

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More on coronavirus:

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How to stay safe when you go outside the home (Independent)

The 'five tests' the UK must pass before lockdown can end (Mirror)

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a little girl riding on the back of a bicycle © Provided by Evening Standard The Times reported that travellers could face fines of up to £1,000 and even deportation if spot checks later find they have flouted the rules, which the report claimed could be introduce in June.

Briefing reporters on Friday , Downing Street confirmed quarantining foreign visitors was being “looked at” as a way of guarding the country against a second peak in the transmission rate.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “I think ministers have said the issue of looking to ensure, as we really drive down transmission in the UK, that we are able to ensure the virus is not being brought into the country from overseas is one they are actively considering.”

a group of people posing for the camera: So far during the pandemic arrivals have only faced temperature checks (AFP via Getty Images) © Provided by Evening Standard So far during the pandemic arrivals have only faced temperature checks (AFP via Getty Images)

Boris Johnson will also recommend workers wear masks when they do return to work and when using public transport, The Daily Telegraph reported.

It has been confirmed that Mr Johnson will announce that garden centres will be allowed to open their doors to customers from Wednesday May 13.

Nursery bosses will have to ensure shoppers obey social distancing measures, such as keeping two metres away from others, and will be expected to put restrictions in place, including queuing systems and installing Perspex shields to protect till staff, in a similar way to supermarkets.

a person riding a skateboard up the side of a road: Londoners relax on benches on South Bank during the warm Bank Holiday weekend weather (AP) © Provided by Evening Standard Londoners relax on benches on South Bank during the warm Bank Holiday weekend weather (AP)

A senior Government source said: “Garden centres are typically open large open-air spaces where the risk of transmission of coronavirus is lower.

“With strict social distancing measures in place we believe they can open safely from next week.”

It is also understood that ministers are preparing to recommend that commuters use their bicycles for journeys to work, in a bid to reduce the number of people using public transport.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is set to use his appearance at the Downing Street briefing on Saturday to unveil a further £250 million for extra cycle lanes, while trials on the use of e-scooters on British roads are due to be fast-tracked.

Meanwhile, Environment Secretary George Eustice reiterated calls for people to stay at home for the remainder of the bank holiday weekend and to respect social distancing rules.

The call comes despite Met Office predictions that Saturday could be the hottest day of the year, with temperatures likely to hit 26C (78.8F).

In related news:

  • Ministers looked to downplay differences emerging between UK nations on lockdown measures, stating there was no “need to get too worked up about timings of different announcements”.
  • Mr Eustice looked to temper expectations before the PM’s Sunday announcement, warning there would be no “dramatic overnight change” to the restrictions in England.
  • NHS England on Friday said a six-week-old baby with underlying health problems had died after testing positive for the virus, believed to be the youngest known victim in the UK, as the total number of deaths in all settings hit 31,241 .
  • The Government confirmed it had missed its 100,000 daily testing target for the sixth day in a row, carrying out 97,029 tests in the 24 hours to 9am on Friday.
  • McDonald’s drive-thru restaurants, which are starting to reopen , were branded as being “made for the social distancing situation we are in” by Mr Eustice.

Mr Eustice, facing questioning on Friday, said the UK was still “not out of the woods” when it came to the coronavirus threat.

George Eustice holding a sign: Environment Secretary George Eustice during a media briefing in Downing Street (PA) © Provided by Evening Standard Environment Secretary George Eustice during a media briefing in Downing Street (PA)

His comments came after the devolved administration in Wales announced “modest adjustments” to the restrictions on movement, put in place across the UK to stem the transmission of Covid-19.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said the three changes, coming into force on Monday, included allowing more than one form of exercise per day and permitting garden centres and public libraries to reopen.

But in Scotland, only alterations to exercise guidance are expected , while those in Northern Ireland have been told there will be just “nuanced changes” to the clampdown on movement.

Those in England will have to wait until 7pm on Sunday for the PM to formally declare the result of the UK Government’s review into what rule changes should be brought in for England.

The PM has promised to exercise “maximum caution” when tinkering with the restrictions after official data suggested more than 36,000 people had died with coronavirus in the UK since the pandemic broke.

Additional reporting by PA Media.

Stay at home to stop coronavirus spreading - here is what you can and can't do. If you think you have the virus, don't go to the GP or hospital, stay indoors and get advice online. Only call NHS 111 if you cannot cope with your symptoms at home; your condition gets worse; or your symptoms do not get better after seven days. In parts of Wales where 111 isn't available, call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47. In Scotland, anyone with symptoms is advised to self-isolate for seven days. In Northern Ireland, call your GP.

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