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People's Daily Online

UK coronavirus recovery plan unveiled in detail as death toll tops 32,000

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 08:27, May 12, 2020

LONDON, May 11 (Xinhua) -- The British government on Monday published the document of the long-expected COVID-19 recovery plan, hoping to gradually ease the lockdown measures while at the same time getting the coronavirus pandemic under control.

Named as "Our Plan to Rebuild: The UK Government's COVID-19 recovery strategy", the document sets out the three-phase approach, starting this week with further lockdown loosening at the start of June and further changes potentially from July 4.

According to the 50-page document, from this week those with jobs in food production, construction, manufacturing, logistics, distribution and scientific research in laboratories should return to the workplace.

People should aim to wear a face-covering in enclosed spaces where social distancing is not always possible and they come into contact with others that they do not normally meet, for example on public transport or in some shops, according to the document.

For students, the government wants children of key workers and those who are vulnerable to go back to school at once and all English primary school children to have at least a month's teaching before the summer holidays.

Homemade cloth face-coverings can help reduce the risk of transmission in some circumstances, said the government.

People can exercise outside as many times each day as they wish from Wednesday instead of just once a day, according to the government.

Depending on the situation, the government is also planning to allow cultural and sporting events to take place behind closed-doors for broadcast from June.

The third phase, starting at the earliest by July, may see government reopen some of the hospitality industry and other public places.

Those measures will for now be carried out in England only. And When travelling to outdoor spaces, the document said it is important that people respect the rules in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and do not travel to different parts of Britain where it would be inconsistent with guidance or regulations issued by the relevant devolved administrations.

"Whatever we do, we need to proceed cautiously. But before any significant change, we need to ensure we have fully adequate testing services in place that are adequately linked to effective contact tracing and management and we need to monitor very carefully the impact of any changes on case numbers in the community to determine whether any change has put our citizens and our NHS (National Health Service) at increased risk," said Paul Hunter, professor in medicine at the University of East Anglia.

Another 210 COVID-19 patients have died in Britain as of Sunday afternoon, bringing the total coronavirus-related death toll in the country to 32,065, the Department of Health and Social Care said Monday.

The figures include deaths in all settings, including hospitals, care homes and the wider community.

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