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20 April 2020, 08:55
Economic advisers submitted a 'traffic light system' plan to the government as lockdown-lifting measures continue to be discussed.
The UK government are yet to confirm the measures which will bring the country out of lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic, but scientific advisers have apparently put forward a ‘traffic light system’ approach in lifting the current restrictions.
UCL economists submitted the proposals to the government but Michael Gove said in the daily update on Sunday the traffic light system is not what the government have planned.
Such a system would see parts of the UK re-opening at different stages, beginning in the ‘red stage’ with non-essential shops and ‘low risk’ businesses such as hairdressers and salons.
It could then involve the ‘amber stage’ with businesses with under 50 staff re-opening, some social distancing measures lifted, schools re-opening, and restaurants opening their doors once again but with strict seating layouts.
The ‘amber stage’ would see more of the economy back at work, with the majority of people permitted to return to work and social gatherings allowed.
The ‘green stage’ would permit weddings and funerals to take place again, cinemas and theatres reopening, and gyms reopening but with limits on capacity.
However, when asked if the traffic light system is what the government are considering, Michael Gove told Sky News: “No, it is not.”
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson also added “no decision has been made on when we will reopen schools.”
Michael Gove also suggested local pubs would be among the last to re-open after the UK lockdown is lifted.
When asked if pubs would open “before winter”, Mr Gove replied: “The other inference that I draw from your question, which is that areas of hospitality will be among the last to exit the lockdown — yes, that is true.”
The government are taking careful measures in how to ease lockdown restrictions, adding there are “tests which need to be passed before we can think of easing restrictions in this lockdown.”
He continued: “We're looking at the data, it is the case that the rate of infection appears to be flattening, but we do not want to take steps too early because the most important thing is to make sure that the NHS and the public's health is protected."
On Thursday 16 April, the country’s three-week lockdown was extended by another three weeks, as the government are reviewing the spread of coronavirus at each stage.