COVID-19: What’s happening?

by | Jun 23, 2021

Following the announcement’s from all four nations of the UK, we have compiled an article which contains information about the the various plans for the easing of restrictions across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

England (source: gov.uk)

The fourth step of the Government’s Roadmap has been postponed until at least the 19th July, except for weddings which “can still go ahead with more than 30 guests provided that social distancing remains in place and the same will apply to wakes”.

 

“By Monday 19th July we will aim to have double jabbed around two thirds of the adult population including everyone over 50, all the vulnerable, all the frontline health and care workers and everyone over 40 who received their first dose by mid-May.”

– Prime Minister, Boris Johnson

 

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland have postponed the further lifting of restrictions due to the increase in the Delta variant, and the speed at which it is spreading within the community.

 

The First Minister and Deputy First Minister wrote a statement which explains that Northern Ireland have agreed a new indicative date of 5th July, which will be reviewed on 1st July.

 

“We know this will be very disappointing for all those impacted, particularly across the arts and culture sectors. We did not take this decision lightly and are acting collectively in the best interests of our population. This is similar to decisions that have been taken in England and Scotland to delay further relaxations to restrictions given concerns around the Delta variant.
We ask that everyone comes forward to receive their vaccine as soon as possible and please keep both appointments. We also urge employers to facilitate workers getting their vaccines. If we all work together, we will get to a point where we can continue on our pathway out of restrictions.”

– First Minister and Deputy First Minister

 

No earlier than the 5th July, ‘close contact services’ in Northern Ireland will be able to open without appointments but with remaining mitigations.

 

Scotland (source: gov.scot)

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed today (22nd June) that there would be no changes taking place to current restrictions as previously planned, apart from some minor amendments. The Scottish Government have said that they will keep current levels in force until at least 19th July.

 

Scotland have published an updated Strategic Framework, as well as their review on physical distancing.

 

“If we can move – as hoped – to level 0 on 19 July, that will be a significant step back to normality. But we have always been clear that level 0 cannot be an endpoint.”

– First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon

 

Wales (source: gov.wales)

Wales have postponed easing restrictions, with a new review date set to take place on 15th July.

 

Although there will be no substantive changes there are some small technical amendments are being made to the coronavirus regulations to make them easier to understand and easier to apply for businesses. This includes:

  • The number of people who can attend a wedding or civil partnership reception or wake, organised by a business in an indoors regulated premise, such as a hotel, will be determined by the size of the venue and a risk assessment.
  • Clarifying small grassroots music and comedy venues will be able to operate on the same basis as hospitality venues, like pubs and cafes.
  • Primary school children in the same school contact group or bubble will be able to stay overnight in a residential outdoor education centre.

 

“In the space of just a few short weeks, the delta variant has entered Wales and quickly spread throughout the country. There is sustained and accelerating transmission, not just in North and South East Wales but in all parts of Wales.
It is now the most dominant variant in new cases in Wales. We are once again facing a serious public health situation.
We have the lowest coronavirus rates in the UK and the highest vaccination rates for first doses. A 4-week delay in relaxing restrictions could help to reduce the peak number of daily hospital admissions by up to half, at a time when the NHS is very busy supporting all our healthcare needs – not just treating coronavirus.”

– First Minister Mark Drakeford

 

Information from the UK Government:

The new COVID-19 variant (known as Delta) spreads more easily than the other variants that were previously most common. To help stop the spread, you should:

  • Get both doses of the vaccine when you are offered it, and encourage others to do so as well
  • Participate in surge testing in your local area, whether you are vaccinated or not
  • Self-isolate immediately if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste) or if you’ve tested positive for COVID-19

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