Travel, garden centres and schools - how could the UK’s lockdown be eased?

The Prime Minister will announce a range of modifications, from the reopening of garden centres and certain fast food franchises, to the allowance of unlimited outdoor exercise and quarantining of foreign visitors. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is also set to use his appearance at the Downing Street briefing on Saturday to unveil a further £250 million for extra cycle lanes, while trials on the use of e-scooters on British roads are due to be fast-tracked.  ____________________________________________________ More on coronavirus: ____________________________________________________ Lockdown measures were announced in the Prime Minister's emergency address to the nation on March 23, and the UK is now in its' seventh week of lockdown. According to The Times, those visiting the UK will have to fill in a digital form and declare an address where they will then be expected to self-isolate for two weeks - but travellers from Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man will be exempt from the quarantine. Garden centres will be allowed to reopen to customers from Wednesday May 13; nursery bosses will ensure social distancing rules are obeyed, implement queueing systems and install Perspex shields to protect till staff. A senior Government source said: “Garden centres are typically open large open-air spaces where the risk of transmission of coronavirus is lower.” Last month, the British Retail Consortium published guidance for measures that retail stores could introduce to help with the transition once restrictions are lifted, including limiting entry and exit points and using floor markings to outline social distancing. Employees in non-essential industries who have been operating from home may be allowed to return to work, but will be encouraged to wear face masks and opt for a bike ride to avoid public transport where possible. Businesses wanting employees to return to the office could be made to stagger shifts, and ensure there are hand-washing facilities, hand gel and PPE supplies readily available. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is expected to announce in the Downing Street briefing on Saturday an extra £250 million for cycle lands, with trials for the use of e-scooters on British roads due to be fast-tracked. Fast food franchises including McDonald’s and KFC have already announced they will begin opening locations for delivery services, with more sites likely to reopen in the coming weeks. Mr Drakeford told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme he expects Wales’s “very modest” lockdown easing to be in line with what Boris Johnson will announce for England. Meanwhile unions sent a joint statement to Education Secretary Gavin Williamson on Friday, outlining a list of key measures which they say must be met before pupils in England can safely return to their desks. It includes extra money for deep cleaning and personal protective equipment (PPE) and local powers to close schools if clusters of Covid-19 infections break out in a particular area. Public Health England has signalled the “stay home” message could be abandoned and reports suggest people using benches, having picnics or sunbathing will no longer be asked to move on, provided they keep two metres apart. Italians have been experiencing further virus-containment restrictions after Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced a nationwide lockdown on personal movement on March 9.