I have just returned from one of my around Longridge walks. One keeping to the hard surfaces. It is wild and windy, cool with more rain due shortly. I acknowledged and chatted to friends in passing, even their dogs are getting to know me. It is surprising how many have tested positive for the Covid virus and been ill, I’m glad I have kept myself semi isolated. and I’ve had one vaccination six weeks back now.
The not so Merry-Go-Round continues as we are urged to stay at home, I did the same yesterday and no doubt tomorrow I’ll repeat a similar walk.
But cases, hospital admissions and deaths are coming down, and schools are back. So what may we plan for in the coming weeks? I need to remind myself of the Government’s ‘roadmap’ for coming out of lockdown. As I think they apply to me –
From 29 March:
- People will be allowed to meet outside, either with one other household or within the “rule of six”, including in private gardens
- The stay at home rule will end, but the government will urge people to stay local as much as possible
Stage two (no earlier than 12 April):
- All shops allowed to open, along with hairdressers.
- Restaurants and pubs allowed to serve food and alcohol to customers sitting outdoors
- Members of the same household can take a holiday in the UK in self-contained accommodation
Stage three (no earlier than 17 May):
- People can meet in groups of up to 30 outdoors
- Six people or two households can meet indoors
- Pubs and restaurants can seat customers indoors
- Hotels, hostels and B&Bs can reopen
- International leisure travel may resume.
There is little guidance on social distancing, hand hygiene or face mask wearing. Perhaps the scientists will remind us of those in due course.
All the above depending on –
- The coronavirus vaccine programme continues to go to plan.
- Vaccines are sufficiently reducing the number of people dying or needing hospital treatment.
- Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospital admissions.
- New coronavirus variants do not fundamentally change the risk of lifting restrictions.
Where does that leave me? Well from the end of March I can walk locally with up to six people which is an improvement. My son who lives local can come for a brew in the garden but I’m not sure if I can meet up with my family from Manchester, too distant. In April, I can get my hair cut and stay in self-catering accommodation, though a lot is already booked up. I assume travelling further afield is then permitted. Not until May could I stay in a hotel or B&B. I have no desire to rush abroad whilst European cases are high or variants about, Ryanair’s emails to me suggest otherwise.
I have a few short backpacking trips in quiet areas of the UK on the slow burner so they are a possibility either with B&B’s or taking a tent to be independent. I’d better retrieve one of my tents from the back of the cupboard to check it for worthiness. Even better I should be able to meet up with friends I’ve not seen for a year for some exercise and a pint. I have a feeling that any outing is going to feel rather strange, I will have to get into a different mindset – a lot has changed in a year. I think any alpine trip can wait till next year but what about the Canaries next winter? I did spot this on the fell last week…
Oh well, don’t hold your breath I will be around Longridge again tomorrow. Treat yourself to a little Pete Green…