Detailed Government Advice – Coronavirus

Friends and family in public spaces
The government has updated its advice on outdoor activity, after evidence showed the “risk of infection outside is significantly lower than inside”.

  • From Wednesday (May 13) “people may exercise outside as many times each day as they wish,” the document says, as opposed to just for one hour, as was previously the rule. For example, this includes angling and tennis.
  • People can only exercise with up to one person from outside their household – this means people should not play team sports, except with members of your own household.
  • Anyone meeting with someone outside their household should stay two metres away from them.
  • People are still not able to use areas like playgrounds, outdoor gyms or ticketed outdoor leisure venues, where there is a higher risk of close contact and touching surfaces.
  • People may also “drive to outdoor open spaces irrespective of distance“, so long as they respect social distancing guidance while they are there.
  • When travelling to outdoor spaces, it is important that people respect the rules in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and “do not travel to different parts of the UK“.

The Workplace
In his address, the Prime Minister said people should be “actively encouraged” to return to work from Wednesday, if they are unable to work from home.

However, he said people should only return to work where social distancing can be observed and at firms which are “Covid-secure“.

  • For the foreseeable future, workers should continue to work from home rather than their normal physical workplace, wherever possible.
  • The government says this is to protect those who must physically attend work, by “minimising the risk of overcrowding on transport and in public places“.
  • Sectors encouraged to reopen include: Food production, construction, manufacturing, logistics, distribution and scientific research in laboratories.
  • Sectors that must remain closed: Hospitality and non-essential retail.
  • Nannies and childminders can also return to work, if safe to do so, to allow more parents to return to work.
  • Anyone with symptoms should not return to work, and should instead self-isolate, as should members of their household.

“There is a large social benefit” for vulnerable children in attending school. As such, the government wants schools to “urge more children who would benefit from attending in person, to do so”.

  • Paid childcare is allowed to resume, including nannies and childminders, as long as it’s safe to do so.

The government says this should help working parents return to work.


  • When travelling, the government says “everybody (including critical workers) should continue to avoid public transport wherever possible”.
  • It is encouraging people to only travel by foot, bicycle, or by car, however it acknowledges public transport is essential for some people in getting to work.

Face coverings

  • As people return to work, the government wants people to “wear a face-covering in enclosed spaces where social distancing is not always possible“.
  • It says while on public transport or in supermarkets, face coverings “can help reduce the risk of transmission”.
  • Face-coverings are not intended to help the wearer, but to protect against transmission of the disease to others.
  • The government says people should not wear clinical face masks, which are intended for health care professionals, but “homemade” face coverings, which are also beneficial.

Click here for instructions on how to wear and make a cloth face covering.

Latest Government Information – Coronavirus

There is a new Covid Alert System run by a new Joint Biosecurity Centre.

Level One means the disease is no longer present in the UK.
Level Five is the most critical – the kind of situation we could have had if the NHS had been overwhelmed.

Over the period of the lockdown we have been in Level Four, and we are now in a position to begin to move in steps to Level Three.

Step One

Work from home if you can, but you should go to work if you can’t work from home.

Avoid public transport if at all possible – because we must and will maintain social distancing, and capacity will therefore be limited. If possible, travel to work by car or even better by walking or bicycle.

From this Wednesday (13 May), we want to encourage people to take more and even unlimited amounts of outdoor exercise. You can sit in the sun in your local park, you can drive to other destinations, you can even play sports but only with members of your own household.

You must obey the rules on social distancing and to enforce those rules we will increase the fines for the small minority who break them.

Step Two
(at the earliest by June 1 – after half term)

Possibly begin the phased reopening of shops and to get primary pupils back into schools, in stages, beginning with reception, Year 1 and Year 6.

Our ambition is that secondary pupils facing exams next year will get at least some time with their teachers before the holidays. We will shortly be setting out detailed guidance on how to make it work in schools and shops and on transport.

Step Three
(at the earliest by July and subject to all these conditions and further scientific advice)

Possibly re-open some of the hospitality industry and other public places, provided they are safe and enforce social distancing.

If we can’t do it by those dates, and if the alert level won’t allow it, we will simply wait and go on until we have got it right.

Stay alert

We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert. This means you must:

  • Stay at home as much as possible
  • Work from home if you can
  • Limit contact with other people
  • Keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • Wash your hands regularly

Self-isolate if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.

Invitation to Participate in LSE Study on Density

It is hard to find land in London to build on. One suggestion is to increase density – to allow more to be built on a piece of land.

To this end, my colleagues and I at the London School of Economics have put together a survey to better understand what Outer London residents think about this.

The survey can be accessed by clicking on the link below and then, after having read the instructions, by clicking ‘Continue’. It consists of two parts. The first is a short questionnaire and the second contains a series of images for the participant to respond to.

More detailed information, including a consent form, can be found on the survey’s introduction page.

Participants are encouraged to complete the survey by May 31. Responses will be anonymous.

If there are any technical questions or issues, please feel free to email:

Link to the survey: