Late last month, the UK started lifting coronavirus restrictions in certain areas of the economy as part of its phased approach to reopening the country in a COVID-19 world.
Certain provisions will be given to several businesses and establishments to operate as long as they still observe the safety measures set by the WHO and the government. That being said, businesses, schools, and some forms of socializing have been slowly revived since then.
Back in Business
Businesses such as Pressmark Pressings, provider of parts for carmakers such as Nissan and Honda, have had an earlier restart in mid-May. One of the main challenges they saw with such an early reopening was the significantly lower workforce number that showed up, with only 16 of 90 workers who reported for duty at the factory.
Thousands of other businesses have resumed operations since then. Professionals, such as estate agents, have returned to work to make the necessary changes in their workplaces to comply with the health and safety regulations set by the government.
While a lot of people are apprehensive of this move and remain cautious, many workers were relieved to be taken out of furlough and brought back to work.
The decision to slowly loosen up on the lockdown measures and restart the UK’s economy came after the death rates have consistently fallen. Having reached a peak of 943 coronavirus-related fatalities across the UK in mid-April, the numbers have fallen significantly about a month after to 256 deaths.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave credit to the citizens for the diminishing numbers as they heeded social distancing guidelines especially at the height of the pandemic. He also emphasized the great need to control and contain the virus as much as possible to prevent it from wreaking further havoc to the people’s health and the economy.
As July comes closer, certain changes will take effect in the UK. At the time of this writing, the Prime Minister is set to review the results of the two-metre social distancing rule with the chances of cutting it down to one-metre.
Come July, pubs and restaurants are slated to reopen albeit under certain conditions. Scotland has confirmed that along with these establishments, hospitality and tourism will also reopen on July 15. Northern Ireland has given the go signal for these industries to resume services as early as July 3.
In line with these reopenings, the government also has plans for the reopening of the arts and culture sector. Cinemas, museums, and art galleries can reopen under slightly different conditions compared to restos and pubs. Pre-booked tickets, one-way systems, increased ventilation, and spaced queueing are recommended to enforce social distancing and ensure public safety.
While things still aren’t perfect and the details aren’t ironed out yet, the citizens of the UK are showing much optimism about the reopenings. It may take some time for them to fully recover from the economic damages brought by the novel coronavirus, but they look forward to the time when the virus is fully under control and our way of life will be better than now and before.