BRITISH PM LOCKDOWN PLAN TO EASE IN THREE-PHASES
UK: A plan by the British PM ‘Boris Johnson’ aimed at easing the lockdown measure imposed over the corona virus spread has been labeled ‘messy’ and ‘reckless’ with others raising concern over his announcement. According to the PM’s announcement, daily exercise rules will be relaxed, and sunbathing will also be allowed, including upped breach fines, and a likely reopening of primary schools in June. However, his speech on the lockdown easing plan left him with accusations of cultivating confusion.
Responding to this development, Dr ‘Mary Bousted’, joint general secretary of the NEU, responded to Mr. Johnson’s speech by saying: “We think that the announcement by the Government that schools may reopen from June 1 with reception and year one and six is nothing short of reckless”. While on the other hand, ‘Nadia Whittome’ who claimed she was sacked as a temporary career for speaking out against personal protection equipment (PPE) shortages, tweeted:
“Boris Johnson has just encouraged millions of people to go back to work, without agreement from unions or guidance on how workers will be kept safe. This will risk lives. We simply do not have the PPE and testing in place to substantially loosen lockdown”.
Elsewhere, former shadow chancellor ‘John McDonnell’ responding to ‘Boris Johnson’s’ speech said in a tweet: “PM’s mess of a statement has caused more confusion than clarity creating worrying uncertainty about the return of work and how safety will be assured, opening up divisions between the UK’s nations and displaying a complete lack of clarity about what activities are now allowable”.
According to the British PM address to the nation, ‘Boris Johnson’ made it clear that the public had put up with restrictions “never seen before in peace or war” but they would now begin to be eased. Adding that the next stage of lockdown easing will take effect with a “phase two”, from next month and including primary students going back to school couple with some shops re-opening.
In the same vein, phase three is expected to begin in July at the earliest and could see hospitality firms open their doors for the first time since March. While in the end ‘Boris Johnson’ thanked the public for their “patience and common sense” and revealed the Government’s latest slogan: “Stay alert, control the virus and save lives”.
HEADTEACHERS UNION CRITICISED THE LOCKDOWN
Responding to the Prime Minister’s decision and set out road-map out of lockdown, precisely plans to reopen schools, however, the general secretary of NAHT ‘Paul Whiteman’, the union which represents leaders in the majority of schools said:
“We now know a little more about what the government’s ambition is for schools. However, without explanation of why or how such a return is considered to be safe, tonight’s announcement will not pass the ‘confidence test’, with parents or school leaders.
“School leaders do not want to see classrooms empty for a day longer than they need to be. But there is not a school leader in the land who wants to risk admitting more pupils unless it is perfectly clear that it is safe.
“Schools are likely to be inundated with questions from anxious parents about what this all means. Our advice is to explain that in the short-term nothing has changed and that further information will be provided in the coming days and weeks once the government has issued more detailed guidance”.
In another development, the Labour Party leader ‘Keir Starmer’ added that the Prime Minister failed to put in place clarity or consensus. Also that the British PM “appears to be effectively telling millions of people to go back to work tomorrow [today]” without the necessary guidance.
“But we haven’t got the guidelines, and we don’t know how it’s going to work with public transport so there is a huge number of questions arising out of this.
“Well, what the country wanted tonight was clarity and consensus, and I’m afraid we’ve got neither, adding that “this statement raises as many questions as it answers, and we see the prospect of England, Scotland and Wales, pulling in different directions. It’s a big gap here for the Government to make up”.
Meanwhile, according to the Northern Ireland Minister ‘Arlene Foster’ who also made it clear that:
“People across Northern Ireland have listened and acted on the public health advice over the last six weeks. They have stayed at home, kept their distance, and washed their hands and because of that, they have saved lives.
“We have flattened the curve of infection, reduced the R-rate to below one, and protected our health service but we are not out of the woods yet. It is important that we continue to follow this advice.
“As the Executive begins to finalize our plans for recovery, we need to strike the balance between continuing to protect lives and the health service and give people hope for the future. The changes that we will introduce will be gradual, proportionate and based on scientific and medical advice and will be taken at the right time and in the best interests of the people of Northern Ireland”.
The British PM plans to ease lockdown, a sudden risk or an issue of obvious concern across the UK?