Philip Atkins

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The Government’s new coronavirus guidance is “absolutely not a green light” for life to return to normal, the leader of Staffordshire County Council has warned.

Boris Johnson outlined the first steps towards bringing the UK out of lockdown during an address to the nation last night (10th May).

It included steps to get some businesses back to work and proposals on how schools might begin to reopen.

The Prime Minister is expected to give further details in the House of Commons today.

But Cllr Philip Atkins, leader of Staffordshire County Council, said it was important that people continued to safeguard themselves, their families and their communities to avoid a second peak in the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is hugely important for businesses to open their doors, people to get back to work and education and communities and services to rebuild – but this has to be when it is safe to do so and at the right pace.

“Over the coming weeks and months we will all be treading a very fine line as we gradually reopen this county and this country.

“This is absolutely not a green light for everyone and everything to go back to as we were before the pandemic.

“The challenge now is to build on what we have done so far. This means keep washing your hands regularly, social distancing and working from home if you can, so we continue to do everything we can to avoid a second and potentially more deadly peak in cases.”

Cllr Philip Atkins, Staffordshire County Council

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  1. Well duh! The schools are closed, the shops are closed, the pubs are closed.

    As leader of the council, surely you could have left this to the Cabinet Member for the Bleeding Obvious.

  2. It illustrates to some extent the problem of turning our hopes into asperations. For sure we all want normality again. In the present situation there are no easy answers. In 1918 – 1919 the pandemic seemed to spontaneously disappear. It is not known why and even the nature of the epidemic is uncertain. Perhaps it mutated into something benign. We can but hope.
    Decisions are never easy on this scale. The government has put life and protection of the NHS as the priority. There are consequences for that decision, and it leads to dispute over the long term affects this will have.
    I rather suspect that when the kids go back to school the floodgates will just open regardless of the colour of the traffic light. It will just be the lesser or greater outcome for the population. With summer looming I very much doubt they will get the lid on the box again.

  3. Teachers are not allowed to visit a family members home.

    However, they will be allowed to stand in front of 30 children, all day.

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