The Government guidance has now been adjusted to allow people more time outdoors in groups of up to 6, schools to re-open to some pupils and for some shops to re-open. Those people who have been shielding are now also able to leave their homes once a day for exercise, and meet one other person from outside of their household providing they observe social distancing.
As we take these small steps forward, it is important to stress that this progress is conditional and it remains critical that those from different households stay two metres apart. The Government will monitor how these changes are working, including by looking at the R-value and the number of new infections, before taking any further steps. This will ensure we do not risk a second peak that could overwhelm our NHS.
The new NHS Test and Trace programme will also help to ensure we keep the virus under control. There is no doubt that we are making progress and I am hopeful that in the coming weeks we may be able to do more, but of course, this will be conditional on the scientific and medical advice saying that it is safe to do so.
As we begin to recover and return to our way of life, it is vital that we all stay alert, so we can control the virus and save lives. Full guidance on what is and is not allowed is available on gov.uk/coronavirus, along with a list of frequently asked questions which are regularly updated.