Easing lockdown: a vague, illogical road map to nowhere | Letters

Readers respond to Boris Johnson’s address on the lifting of restrictions

Boris Johnson’s “lockdown release” (Johnson’s lockdown release condemned as divisive, confusing and vague, 10 May) has left us all confused, to say the least. His so-called road map lacks clarity and fails to meet the true desires of a population which until now has been remarkably compliant. Here is what he could have done: allowed family and friendship groups to form small “bubbles”, since we are all aching to renew contact with our loved ones; established the principle that masks should be worn inside shops and on public transport; set a date two weeks hence for the beginning of a return to work, thus allowing employers to make appropriate plans where possible, by liaising with the unions, and contacting the workforce to establish their level of agreement. Measures such as these would have provided a little more certainty, and been sensible and practical.
Carol and Ian Ferguson
Thornton Dale, North Yorkshire

• It is difficult to conceive of a more confused and unhelpful intervention than Boris Johnson’s address to the nation. What does “alertness” actually mean? How does one shine a light on something invisible? Is it wise to increase free movement with an R-zero of 0.9, and in what way is that worrying benchmark only “potentially” close to one? How do we get to work at 12 hours’ notice but not using public transport? Why are we planning so late in the day to quarantine visitors from less infected nations than our own? Why are we creating policy division across the UK?
Philip Barber
Consultant respiratory physician, Manchester

• Boris Johnson’s brief comments on the fraught issue of quarantine hardly helped clear up the monumental obscurity of Grant Shapps’ remarks on the subject on Saturday. Apparently – according to the PM – it will “soon be the time” to impose self-isolation on people coming into the UK by air. Quite why this obvious step is still to be delayed was not clear. Given that the airline industry now looks to be in even greater peril because of the proposed quarantine we at least have a right to clarity on the issue.
Rev Andrew McLuskey
Ashford, Middlesex

• The suggestion that primary schools might reopen before the summer vacation is fatally flawed . It contradicts the nature of primary education where close contact is an inevitable part of each school day. The very thought that the principle of social distancing is going to work in either classroom or playground is beyond belief.

Morning and evening, parents gather to drop off or collect their children. Close social contact is inevitable and the risks substantial.

If only those who are responsible for making such suggestions did so from the background of hard experience, we would all benefit from a more informed policy.
Chris McDonnell
Retired headteacher, Little Haywood, Staffordshire

• Where on earth is the logic in having the reception and year 1 children back at school when they are the least able groups to exercise social distancing? I would love to hear the late Joyce Grenfell’s take on the idea: “No darling, you’re not quite two metres away from George”!
Judith Wright
Retired reception teacher, Darwen, Lancashire

• Let me get this straight: I am being told to “stay alert” by a prime minister whose manifest lack of alertness in February and March to a danger that was being made obvious in China and Italy has cost thousands of lives and done immense damage to the economy. What next – the Boris Johnson Guide To A Long And Happy Marriage?
Graham Walsh
Wymondham, Norfolk

• Lockdown can get to us all but this email from my 92-year-old mother on Saturday afternoon lifted my spirits: “Just done half an hour’s gardening, and I’m sitting here in blazing sun and drinking chilled San Miguel.” Cheers!
Jol Miskin


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