A muddled approach to easing lockdown rules | Coronavirus outbreak

A muddled approach to easing lockdown rules | Coronavirus outbreak

Now let me see if I’ve got this right (Pubs and places of worship: what 4 July lockdown rules mean for England, 23 June). Single people can only be in a bubble with one other household, but bigger households can meet with numerous other households and can stay overnight, but must stay 2 metres apart. And you can go into a pub as long as you stay 2 metres apart, unless you can’t stay 2 metres apart, then you must stay 1-plus metres apart. You can go up to the counter in a shop, but not in a pub or restaurant. You have to give your name and address if you go to a pub, but not in a shop. You have to wear a mask on a bus, but not in a shop (not sure about pubs). You can have your hair cut from 4 July, but not your nails painted or legs waxed.

But that’s only in England. It’s completely different in Scotland or Northern Ireland. You can’t go to Wales, but you can go to Spain, but you can’t go out for two weeks when you come back. So just remind me: are we still supposed to be washing our hands?
Gail Mitchell
Gotham, Nottinghamshire

• Your editorial (23 June) reminds us that the government had said that any easing of the lockdown would depend on there being an effective test-and-trace system. Well, that seems to have been conveniently forgotten. This seems to be collateral damage as a result of the libertarian in the prime minister, who has been bursting to get out, is finally being released and is now implementing the classic libertarian shibboleths of maximising autonomy and freedom of choice while exercising individual judgment.

It is all very well for Boris Johnson to say that he can trust people to “use their common sense in the full knowledge of the risks”, but regrettable that this is happening just at the very time that we desperately need the guidance that the libertarian view would eschew, in order to assess what those “risks” really are.
Harvey Sanders

• Given that the government is allowing pubs and funfairs to reopen, it should at least let outdoor swimming pools join them on 4 July. Swimming is the most accessible sport for all ages and backgrounds, and often the only safe sport for disabled people. The Royal Life Saving Society has issued guidance on how to rescue swimmers while protecting lifeguards from Covid-19, and Swim England has stated that Covid-19 is not transmissible in chlorinated pool water.
Philippa Edmunds
East Twickenham, Middlesex

• Boris Johnson has said that it will be imperative that people who have symptoms get themselves tested immediately. Here in Cornwall, we face a huge influx of visitors. It is likely that there will be an increased number of cases, yet testing facilities are non-existent.

A friend sought a test last weekend, but no home tests were available. She requested an appointment at a testing centre, but found there were none in Cornwall except those for NHS and care home staff. Thus the only way of getting “tested immediately” was to drive to Exeter, a round trip of up to seven hours. Why is it not clear to the government that restrictions should not be eased until a fully functioning testing service is available to all?
Colin Rogers
Penzance, Cornwall

• Pubs before gyms? Yes, that reinforces confidence that our leaders know what they’re doing. Which group, I wonder, will be more adept at social distancing? Beer drinkers or people who care about their health?
Paul Garrod

• I should have thought our classicist prime minister would have known better – hibernation happens in winter; in summer it’s aestivation.
Penny Aldred

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