So this morning I took the latest posting from the Government website which is shown here along with my arrow and question. In the last 96 hours there has been a range of contradictory plans and demands from the Government. These need to be addressed with some urgency as people are already feeling very frustrated. Apparently although Mr Johnson is now publicly claiming we all need to go to work on our work premises, his website and indeed George Eustice this morning on Radio 4 still very clearly call for us to work from home if we possibly can. The call to go into work is claimed to improve the economy for lunch type provision which is very understandable, but this cannot be vague and different depending on which Ministers is being listened to and which website is being read. In any case if remaining at home reduces the danger of travelling and indeed of working too close to people, then the economy may need to wait a bit longer.
Along with this after 16 weeks since we were first called to lockdown but told that we could go out to buy food without any demands that we were expected to wear face covering, it has now been announced that in the next 10 days we need to change things by wearing them in a retail setting and that we will be fined if we don’t. However apparently this won’t be the case in a pub, restaurant or café. Apparently the fine will be £100, yet understandably this cannot not be imposed by the retailers themselves and indeed they would not be able to force people to wait on the premises until the police arrive. So the Police will need to prepare to observe every supermarket and indeed any other “confined space” retail setting which is clearly not credible unless the number of Police is heavily extended or the focus on other issues is lost. As Johnson stated a few hours ago
“As the virus comes down in incidents and we have more and more success, I think face coverings are a kind of extra insurance that we can all use to stop it coming back and stop it getting out of control again.”
If it may make sense to him now, surely this should have been set out 16 weeks ago when everyone was being placed under a much wider set of instructions. Now we have had the lockdown arrangements reduced for the last 6 weeks to suddenly call on us to follow these instructions raises all sorts of challenges. It is also very hard to explain why Johnson wants this but Gove doesn’t and why the demand for this is being left until 24th July? It is also clear that based on Radio 4 interviews the Police do not see this as credible. Perhaps the 40 or so Police and Crime Commissioners could stand up and explain what is really going to happen as the Government are clearly in a mess.