The government is set to unveil a range of measures to ease the coronavirus lockdown, with a number of changes involving modes of travel expected to be among them.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is due to deliver Saturday’s Downing Street COVID-19 briefing, where it is understood he will announce plans designed to encourage commuters to cycle to work.
It is part of a general effort to reduce reliance on trains and buses, which involve a greater risk of people transmitting coronavirus and where capacity could be reduced by up to 90% due to social-distancing rules.
While drivers are unlikely to see major changes, those flying into the country can expect to face new rules.
As reports emerge of Boris Johnson‘s plans to expand guidance around the use of face masks in an address on Sunday, here’s what we know so far about measures being introduced to clear the way for people to return to work.
Perhaps the most heavily trailled of the forthcoming announcements is a £250m scheme for extra cycle lanes.
Given the risks around the transmission of coronavirus on public transport – not to mention the environmental and health benefits of cycling – the government has said it is keen to encourage more people to ride bikes to work.
It is thought Mr Shapps will specifically recommend people consider using both this mode of transportation and walking for those commuting as lockdown restrictions are eased.
He is likely to say he will give local authorities extra funding to facilitate changes to roads and infrastructure to allow for new cycle lanes.
It comes after Sadiq Khan and Andy Burnham, the mayors of London and Manchester respectively, announced plans to close some roads to cars to make way for pedestrian and cycle routes
The law and enforcement of regulations around e-scooters has been a source of confusion as their popularity has increased in recent years.
Mr Shapps is also due to announce trials of the vehicles on British roads – where their use is currently banned – will be fast-tracked by government.
Despite having conspicuously refused to do so earlier in the pandemic, the government will reportedly introduce quarantine measures for those entering the UK.
People landing at the country’s airports will have to fill in a digital form and declare an address where they will then be expected to self-isolate for 14 days.
A central plank of ministers’ plans to allow people to return to their workplaces will involve face masks, given problems around social-distancing guidelines.
Despite Health Secretary Matt Hancock having previously described evidence for their effectiveness in reducing the spread of COVID-19 as “weak”, Mr Johnson has spoken of their importance of face coverings in increasing “confidence” among staff returning to their place of employment.
The prime minister will recommend workers wear masks when they do go back to work and when using public transport, the Telegraph reports.