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22nd February - Roadmap out of the pandemic, lifting of restrictions.

chris11256

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27 Dec 2012
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I see from the breaking news that Northern Ireland has extended its lockdown to 1st April.

If I were a resident there, I would be incandescent.
I can see scientists using public holidays as a reason for further restrictions. Can't possibly have people mixing during X(insert public holiday here) bank holiday can we, it's maddening.
 
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bramling

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If indoors mixing were permitted, it would be a *huge* morale boost for so many right now (myself included)

Do we *really* think indoor mixing isn’t already happening en-masse? Literally just now seen my neighbour (who has taken all this at the more serious end of the spectrum) let family in. I’ll be off to a relative for a haircut later this week.
 

yorksrob

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I can see scientists using public holidays as a reason for further restrictions. Can't possibly have people mixing during X(insert public holiday here) bank holiday can we, it's maddening.

Yes indeed:

Cases are going up - we need lockdown
Cases are going down - we need lockdown
Easter coming up - we need lockdown
Xmas coming up - we need lockdown
There's a "y" in the day - we need lockdown
 

Bald Rick

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The most vulnerable people have already been vaccinated, and these vulnerable people previously accounted for 90% of hospitalisations and deaths. They won't be going into hospital or dieing from Coronavirus now.

Not so. Yes the most vulnerable have been vaccinated, and yes they accounted for (about) 90% of the deaths. But not hospitalisations. They only accounted for about 50% of the hospitalisations.

To get to 90% of hospitalisations you need to include everyone over 50, everyone with a pre existing health condition, and all workers in health / social care. That’s well over half the adult population, and the size of the vaccination task for the NHS by the end of April. Even then, it will need a very high take up of vaccines, otherwise those unvaccinated (and those for whom the vaccine doesn’t work) will still be at risk from the 30 odd million people not vaccinated by May.
 

Drogba11CFC

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I don't like the news of mass testing being introduced. Almost as though they're looking for an excuse to get as many false positives as possible so that they can keep lockdown going permanently.
 

Bald Rick

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I see from the breaking news that Northern Ireland has extended its lockdown to 1st April.

If I were a resident there, I would be incandescent.

Brace yourself for Monday then. Other than the schools going back on March 8th, and perhaps a change to how many people can meet outdoors, it’s unlikely there will be any change in England until the end of
March. But change after that should happen relatively swiftly.
 

6862

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I don't like the news of mass testing being introduced. Almost as though they're looking for an excuse to get as many false positives as possible so that they can keep lockdown going permanently.

I think you've hit the nail on the head right there. Isn't it interesting that when there was previously talk of mass lateral flow testing being a pathway to normality (it was first mentioned in the summer of last year) we were told that the lateral flow tests weren't reliable enough for that. Now that the same tests can be used to keep us locked up for longer they are suddenly seen as reliable.
 

yorksrob

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Brace yourself for Monday then. Other than the schools going back on March 8th, and perhaps a change to how many people can meet outdoors, it’s unlikely there will be any change in England until the end of
March. But change after that should happen relatively swiftly.

To be honest, being able to go out and about and meet people outdoors would be a considerable improvement on lockdown. I will be very angry if "stay at home" isn't ditched at the earliest juncture.
 

WelshBluebird

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Here we go with mad conspiracy theories again. The idea that mass testing is being introduced in order to specifically increase the number of false positive tests in order to justify continued restrictions is insane and is not reality.
 

Ianno87

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I fear the same, not permanently but I do suspect indoor household mixing won't be allowed at all for a long time. It's not an environment that the Government can control(social distancing/regulations and such) so they'll keep it banned for as long as possible.

If the summer 2020 period is anything to go by, there seemed to be a trend towards relaxing the stuff people were doing anyway.

Do we *really* think indoor mixing isn’t already happening en-masse? Literally just now seen my neighbour (who has taken all this at the more serious end of the spectrum) let family in. I’ll be off to a relative for a haircut later this week.

I wouldn't go far as en-masse from my perspective (which would imply pretty much everybody doing it), but would say it appears to be ignored by a reasonable proportion of the population.
 

Carlisle

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Hi
I see from the breaking news that Northern Ireland has extended its lockdown to 1st April.

If I were a resident there, I would be incandescent.
I’m beginning to think it may actually go as far as mass protests before we begin to move us out of this rut
 

6862

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Here we go with mad conspiracy theories again. The idea that mass testing is being introduced in order to specifically increase the number of false positive tests in order to justify continued restrictions is insane and is not reality.

I'm not suggesting it was introduced for this reason, merely that a convenient by product of mass testing is being able to justify more lockdowns. Clearly the original reason was to find and isolate more cases.
 

yorksrob

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Hi

I’m beginning to think it may actually go as far as mass protests before we begin to move us out of this rut

I think that if people aren't given some sort of outlet - such as outdoor activities, that could be the case.
 

Bald Rick

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Do we *really* think indoor mixing isn’t already happening en-masse? Literally just now seen my neighbour (who has taken all this at the more serious end of the spectrum) let family in. I’ll be off to a relative for a haircut later this week.

I wouldn't go far as en-masse from my perspective (which would imply pretty much everybody doing it), but would say it appears to be ignored by a reasonable proportion of the population.

Maybe I’m in a particularly compliant part of the world, but I’m not seeing or hearing about this at all.
 

WelshBluebird

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I'm not suggesting it was introduced for this reason, merely that a convenient by product of mass testing is being able to justify more lockdowns. Clearly the original reason was to find and isolate more cases.
You weren't, but the post you were replying to was absolutely suggesting that.
Yes, it is a by product of the mass testing. But to even suggest that it is the reason for mass testing is just mad.
That is the problem I have with a lot of the posts on this forum lately. They seem to always assume some grand plan behind everything when most of the time there really just isn't.
 

island

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What I hope/would like to happen:

  • Schools to reopen for in-person learning in March for all pupils, with remote learning available for those who have health conditions meaning they are at high risk.
  • "Stay at home" messaging removed in the first week of March.
  • Prohibition on leaving home without a reasonable excuse will be revoked in March and replaced by a prohibition on staying away from home overnight without a reasonable excuse; the latter prohibition will be revoked in April.
  • Rule of 6 for outdoor gatherings from early March and indoor gatherings from April, changed to rule of 30 from May and gathering restrictions revoked by end of June.
  • Non-essential retail and gyms will be reopened in mid-March, and team sports allowed.
  • Pubs and restaurants will be reopened in April.
  • Face covering rules will be revoked by May, and a rule put into place prohibiting businesses from requiring them as a condition of entry, with possible narrow exceptions such as hospitals.
  • Remaining restrictions on closed businesses such as nightclubs will be lifted by end of Q2.
  • Office workers able to return in May, but businesses recognise the considerable benefits of flexible working and make it available semi-permanently.
  • Holidays and international travel – wishful thinking to expect anything much of an improvement this year; I would settle for some sort of minimum notice period for introducing quarantine etc. such as 7 days to give people a chance to get back.

What I think will realistically happen:
  • Schools will reopen in-person in March for the youngest pupils (e.g. R-3), with further reopenings on a phased basis prioritising exam years; full in-person learning will not return until May or June
  • "Outdoor recreation" will be restored in early March as a reasonable excuse for leaving home (thereby returning to the tier 4 regulations as in effect prior to 4 January). At this time children's team sports and individual outdoor sports such as golf and tennis will also be restored.
  • From early March, gatherings of 2 people outdoors from different households will be permitted. This will increase to 6 in late April including in private gardens and allowed indoors from May, possibly earlier for public indoor places than private homes.
  • Grassroots team sports will be restored in late March.
  • Non-essential retail and gyms will be reopened around 6 April; around the same time the “you must remain at home unless you have reasonable excuse” rule will be dropped
  • Restaurants and pubs will be reopened under table service rules and with limited opening time sometime in May.
  • "Work from home if possible" message dropped from June (But large organisations will keep it in effect partly or fully till next year)
  • Domestic tourism will be very cautiously reopened in April, initial focus on camping and self-catering types of facility which have built-in distancing. Hotels will be later.
  • International tourism (outside the CTA) will be effectively impossible until sometime in 2022 unless one is able to take and afford the risk of being caught in quarantine upon return.
  • Face covering rules will be extended (currently the regulations for public transport expire on or about 14 June and other places on or about 23 July). The list of places where they will be required will not be added to. They will eventually be revoked sometime in 2022.
  • Private businesses with high monopoly power (e.g. airlines, and places like GPs and small independent pharmacies) will retain face covering requirements, and heightened requirements for proof of exemptions, for several months beyond this.
  • Other locations such as pubs and restaurants as well as other shops will quickly abolish all face covering requirements to avoid losing business to nearby competitors.
 
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6862

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They seem to always assume some grand plan behind everything when most of the time there really just isn't.

I think it's fair to say that the government is seeking to keep the population as depressed and suppressed as possible though. This isn't some sort of grand plan, but rather a means to keep the population 'under control'. As I've said before, there doesn't have to be any reason for the government wanting to keep us suppressed - complete control is enough of a reason in itself.
 

WelshBluebird

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I think it's fair to say that the government is seeking to keep the population as depressed and suppressed as possible though. This isn't some sort of grand plan, but rather a means to keep the population 'under control'. As I've said before, there doesn't have to be any reason for the government wanting to keep us suppressed - complete control is enough of a reason in itself.
I don't think it is fair to say the government are seeking to keep the population depressed and suppressed at all.
Do you genuinely, actually, honestly, believe the governments goal here is to "keep people depressed and suppressed"?
By all argue that their policies in their goal of trying to control the COVID-19 pandemic has led to that (I'd agree with that argument), but to claim like you have that those specific things are what the government is trying to achieve? Really?
 

6862

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Do you genuinely, actually, honestly, believe the governments goal here is to "keep people depressed and suppressed"?

Yes. I believe that they know that the only way to keep the population sticking to the rules is to keep us scared and depressed. By their own admission (through their mouthpiece the BBC) they commenced a fear campaign against the population at the start of the year (I don't have links right now, but there were several BBC articles explaining how the government were going to use adverts to scare us into compliance - we are seeing these now).

By all argue that their policies in their goal of trying to control the COVID-19 pandemic has led to that (I'd agree with that argument), but to claim like you have that those specific things are what the government is trying to achieve? Really?

I think the original goal was to suppress the virus. I think the goal now for the government is simply to stay in control, because they know that if this situation ever ends it will be the end of the road for them. This roadmap out of lockdown will be no such thing - it will just be a facade to try and pacify the population while they keep the stranglehold going.
 

Richard Scott

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I don't think it is fair to say the government are seeking to keep the population depressed and suppressed at all.
Do you genuinely, actually, honestly, believe the governments goal here is to "keep people depressed and suppressed"?
By all argue that their policies in their goal of trying to control the COVID-19 pandemic has led to that (I'd agree with that argument), but to claim like you have that those specific things are what the government is trying to achieve? Really?
So why carry these restrictions on? Why keep moving the goalposts?
 

MikeWM

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I don't think it is fair to say the government are seeking to keep the population depressed and suppressed at all.
Do you genuinely, actually, honestly, believe the governments goal here is to "keep people depressed and suppressed"?

Judging by what they've said and done over the last few weeks, it seems rather hard to conclude anything else.

To quote Tony Benn : 'I think there are two ways in which people are controlled. First of all frighten people and secondly, demoralise them'.

It may be that they would argue they are just doing it to 'keep a lid' on people in order to prevent them breaking restrictions, but they're pretty clearly doing so. If we were in an existential war for our survival, for example, do you really think the government would be so persistently negative, or would they be trying to keep us positive?
 

ChrisC

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Maybe I’m in a particularly compliant part of the world, but I’m not seeing or hearing about this at all.
Same here. I’m also not seeing or hearing about any large scale breaking of rules and mixing of households. In fact I’m not aware of it happening very much at all around here. Perhaps everyone in my village are all in and out of one another’s houses after dark when I am in my house with the curtains closed. On that subject I can’t remember the last time I went out after dark as there’s no reason when everywhere is closed.
 

brad465

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I'm not suggesting it was introduced for this reason, merely that a convenient by product of mass testing is being able to justify more lockdowns. Clearly the original reason was to find and isolate more cases.
Even if this is a genuine reason to keep lockdown going, as time moves on the vaccine rollout will see hospitalisations and deaths continue to drop to the point more questions will be asked about why the focus is on cases and why restrictions are staying in place for so long.
 

WelshBluebird

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And these replies are exactly what I am talking about. Sorry but no - there is not some insane plan for the government to keep restrictions forever just to stay in control. That is just not happening. Full stop.
Are the governments policies flawed - yes.
Have the government used the crisis to funnel money to their mates? - yes.
But to suggest that the above means they have this grand agenda is simply a conspiracy theory no better than flat earthers or the people who claim 5g causes covid.

Answer this - if this was actually a plan to make restrictions last as long as possible (forever as some people are claiming), then why vaccinate people at all? Why reduce restrictions when they have been?

Sure, the governments response to this pandemic is deeply flawed (though I suspect we disagree on why). But to suggest that means they are planning to keep restrictions for as long as possible to keep control. Its just mad. And I am bitterly disappointed that people are being lured in by the conspiracy theorists. Don't you think that maybe, just maybe, the government would like to see the back of this just as much as we would? That having a crisis like this offers a huge number of chances for people to find fault in the government and they would much rather have an easier more normal time where most of the population are distracted by the pub / sports etc etc?

Sometimes the answer is much simpler than a grand conspiracy - incompetency.
The government, and especially the PM, have found themselves well out of their depth. So much so that they have had to make u turn upon u turn and have essentially backed themselves into a corner on multiple decisions time and time again. Have they tried to use all of this to their advantage in several different ways - of course. But that doesn't mean there is a grand plan with all of this.

Even if this is a genuine reason to keep lockdown going, as time moves on the vaccine rollout will see hospitalisations and deaths continue to drop to the point more questions will be asked about why the focus is on cases and why restrictions are staying in place for so long.

Which is why, despite the conspiracy theories above, once deaths and hospitalisations drop significantly (which once again, require most of the 9 prioritiy groups to be covered, not just the top 4 as they are mainly just the deaths, the hospitalisations are mainly the other groups), we will see restrictions being removed bit by bit as we did last year.
 

brad465

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I see from the breaking news that Northern Ireland has extended its lockdown to 1st April.

If I were a resident there, I would be incandescent.
People making comments on the relevant BBC article about that seem to be just that. Perhaps if people in NI get more vocal and rebellious about that it might sway how our roadmap out of the lockdown turns out.
 

6862

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Sure, the governments response to this pandemic is deeply flawed (though I suspect we disagree on why). But to suggest that means they are planning to keep restrictions for as long as possible to keep control. Its just mad. And I am bitterly disappointed that people are being lured in by the conspiracy theorists.

What I am proposing is essentially the opposite of a conspiracy theory. Conspiracy theories are typically marked by being over complicated and having tenuous links to reality. I am merely suggesting that human pride and arrogance (something which I am sure we both agree exists) is in operation. People like to be in control of a situation. The idea of not being in control, or worse, having someone else in control who doesn't like us (or doesn't like things we have done), doesn't appeal to humans. Boris and co. are just in survival mode.
 

MikeWM

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Answer this - if this was actually a plan to make restrictions last as long as possible (forever as some people are claiming), then why vaccinate people at all?

That's the key question, and the key thing that has changed over the past few weeks. After all, all the continual bombardment over the past few weeks from our Government and their affiliated scientists (and indeed many Governments and affiliated scientists around the world) has been that despite vaccinations, increased immunity, increased knowledge of treatments etc., the situation 6 months from now will probably be similar or worse in terms of restrictions than it was at the same time last year.

Now that may well turn out not to be what happens, but why keep saying so? The supposed 'exit strategy' no longer appears to be anything of the sort, and we don't have another one.
 

WelshBluebird

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What I am proposing is essentially the opposite of a conspiracy theory. Conspiracy theories are typically marked by being over complicated and having tenuous links to reality. I am merely suggesting that human pride and arrogance (something which I am sure we both agree exists) is in operation. People like to be in control of a situation. The idea of not being in control, or worse, having someone else in control who doesn't like us (or doesn't like things we have done), doesn't appeal to humans. Boris and co. are just in survival mode.
There is a vital difference in being in control of a situation and their goal being to "keep people depressed and suppressed".
They are trying to be in control of the virus. They are not trying to control people specifically so that they can keep people depressed and suppressed.
By all means argue that they don't have to try to do that as its a byproduct of the policies to try to control the virus, but again, come on, don't you think that Boris would much rather be head a regular government where he doesn't have nearly the whole country waiting to criticize his next decision and having to make u turn after u turn?
the situation 6 months from now will probably be similar or worse in terms of restrictions than it was at the same time last year.

So I'll be able to go on holiday to Woolacombe with my partner, I'll be able to visit my parents in Wales, and I'll be able to see live music in some venues near where I live, I'll be able to see friends in local pubs and be able to go out for a meal (and get money off)? All just before I can get a vaccine (based on what has been announced)? I'd take that.

Now that may well turn out not to be what happens, but why keep saying so?
Partly to prepare people for the worst. Just as when we were being told that a vaccine may be a year or longer away last year.

And partly because the people who the government are asking are specifically experts in how to deal with a pandemic, so their thoughts and opinions will often be limited to that goal. Now, by all means I agree with some other comments from this forum about how out of touch some of these scientists are. But focusing on the singular goal of preventing the virus spreading is their job. It is governments responsibility to take that advice, water it down, take into account some advice from economists and experts in other fields, and then create policy that balances all the above as much as possible. You can't blame the scientists for the governments inability to form sensible policy. That is governments fault.

And also because we are currently at a much higher rate of cases, deaths' and general spread of the virus than what we were at this time last year. That means that if you ignored the vaccine, it will take longer for that to come back down to similar levels as we saw last summer. Hopefully the vaccine means actually that will fall much much quicker and we should be ok come the summer. But you can't ignore the current situation just because we think things are going to be ok in a few months time.
 

6862

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Answer this - if this was actually a plan to make restrictions last as long as possible (forever as some people are claiming), then why vaccinate people at all? Why reduce restrictions when they have been?

Perhaps you could answer this. We were told repeatedly last year that vaccines were the way out of this. Now it is quite apparent that they are no longer regarded as the way out of the pandemic by our lords and masters, who are instead keen to further increase mass testing as a prerequisite to some supposed reopening. Why have they made this change?
 

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