Written by Romie Tiwana
Health leaders are calling for a “rapid and forward-looking assessment” to ensure Britain is properly prepared for the “real risk” of a second wave of coronavirus.
An open letter signed by the presidents of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons, Nursing, Physicians and GPs – as well as the chairman of the British Medical Association was published in the British Medical Journal shortly after Tuesday’s announcement of eased lockdown measure from July 4th. The letter warns ministers that urgent action would be needed to prevent further loss of lives and to protect the economy amid fears of a second flare-up of the virus.
The UK’s health leaders stated in the open letter that “while the future shape of the pandemic in the UK is hard to predict, the available evidence indicates that local flare-ups are increasingly likely and a second wave a real risk,” and that “the job now is not only to deal urgently with the wide-ranging impacts of the first phase of the pandemic, but to ensure that the country is adequately prepared to contain a second phase.”
It comes after Boris Johnsons announcement of changes in the current lockdown measures from July 4th. Changes include the reduction of the two-metre social distancing rule to a 1-metre rule, and allowing pubs, restaurants, hotels, hairdressers and barbers in England to reopen from the 4th July. The prime minister also said 2 households in England will be able to meet indoors and stay overnight but with social distancing.
Here is a full list of the confirmed venues that would be able to reopen in July:
- Pubs, bars and restaurants – only with a table service indoors and owners will be asked to keep contact details of customers to help with contact tracing
- Hotels, holiday apartments, campsites and caravan parks – shared facilities must be clean properly and regularly.
- Theatres and music halls – not be allowed to hold live performances.
- Weddings will be allowed – only 30 attendees.
- Places of worship will be allowed to hold services – singing will be banned.
- Hair salons and barbers – must have protective measures in place.
- Libraries, community centres and bingo halls.
- Cinemas, museums and galleries.
- Funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and amusement arcades
- Indoor attractions where animals are exhibited – zoos, aquariums, farms, safari parks and wildlife centres.