Dear Aspect, what am I allowed to do now some of the COVID-19 restrictions have eased?
There may be some slight confusion as to what people can and cannot do since the UK has been in and out of lockdown three times. However, these are the things that you can now do according to the government:
- You can now go to the cinema, eat in a restaurant or have a leisurely walk around a museum. Other entertainment places similar to these are also open, those are just a few examples.
- Previously, there was a very small limit to the number of people you could be seen with outside. This has now increased to 30 people. However, if you want to meet with friends or family inside, you have to make sure that there are only six of you attending.
- If you want to go abroad, you can now do so. However, there is a traffic light system in place, this will be explained later in this article.
- Working from home is still an option and the government advises those who can do so, to do so. However, if you can return to work then you are safe too.
- Even though it is June and many of you have finished your semester or degree, students may have received an email stating any face-to-face teaching can happen and they are allowed to use the facilities that they supply.
- If you are part of a support group and have not been able to attend a meeting in person, the meetings can now happen with up to 30 people.
Those are just some of the things that you can do, for more information visit the government website.
Aspect…is there a slight chance that the UK could enter another lockdown?
While another lockdown sounds very gruelling and will be a massive step back for the UK, there are many statements online from officials stating that it is “unlikely” there will be another lockdown. For the first time since the pandemic began, the UK has had “zero daily deaths within 28 days of a positive test”. However, those statistics are from a month ago and recent figures show that cases and deaths are on the rise again, possibly from the variant that was first discovered in India. This means that while the UK may not go into another lockdown, the government can enforce the restrictions that have just been eased. To make sure that the UK does not go into another lockdown, everyone needs to make sure that they follow the government’s COVID-19 rules.
Can you explain the traffic light system?
On May 17th, travel outside the UK was made possible as one of the eased restrictions. However, there is a traffic light system in place that has caused some confusion among the population. So, the countries that are on the green list mean that when you come back to England you do not have to quarantine. Before you travel you will have to show proof of a negative COVID test. When you return, you have to take a COVID test on your second day after coming home. As soon as you get back home, you can go out for dinner or you can see your friends. Some of the countries that are on the green list are: Australia, New Zealand, Jerusalem and Iceland. Portugal used to be on the list, however, yesterday it was removed and from June 8th people will have to quarantine for 10 days and take COVID tests. This means Portugal has been moved to the amber list.
So, the amber list and the red list are pretty much the same. You will have to provide proof of a negative COVID test before you travel. When you return from amber or red-listed country, you will have to quarantine in your own home for 10 days and take a test on the second day and eighth day after your return. The only difference between red and amber is that “International visitors who have visited or transited through any red list country in the previous 10 days will be refused entry into England.” This does not apply to the UK and Irish citizens. Currently, there are 43 countries on the red list, this list includes: India, Maldives, Turkey, Kenya, etc.
It may seem like common sense, however, the countries that are not on the green or red list are on the amber list. These lists are not set in stone and countries can be moved to a different colour, this can be seen with Portugal’s removal from the green list. Due to this, if you are planning on going abroad, make sure you are regularly checking the lists.
For more information about the traffic light system, read this from the government’s website.