Proposals For Easing UK Lockdown Could Offer Hope of Some Piping this Summer

By The Editor

Sources tell me that the Government’s roadmap to ease Covid-19 restrictions, to be announced this weekend, will be set out in five phases. These phases will be on a three week rolling programme. The phases would commence on the following dates:

Phase 1 – 18th May
Phase 2 – 8th June
Phase 3 – 29th June
Phase 4 – 20th July
Phase 5 – 10th August

If coronavirus cases begin to increase, we will revert to the restrictions set out in the previous stage.

I have to state that this plan has not been officially announced and stress that none of it may happen. I will say that the information came from a good source and the detail below speaks for itself. It certainly chimes with recent ‘broadbrush’ announcements from politicians – but readers must make of it what they will.

For piping and pipe bands the most significant dates would be Phase 2, June 8, when ‘small group training’ will be allowed outdoors: pipe bands? Then there is Phase 4, July 20, when sports teams could re-convene – again pipe bands – and finally Phase 5 August 10 – when ‘small festivals and other outdoor cultural events may resume’.

If this all comes to pass, surely it must mean that a local Highland games or an outdoor piping event could be held late summer? And what about al fresco pipe band displays or parades, such a feature of Scotland’s towns at that time of year? All it would take would be a little will on the part of bands and promoters.

Piping is desperate for some tunes! Assynt Games (Aug 14) and Ballater Games (Aug 13) have just cancelled. If this blueprint proves close to the truth, it certainly offers a degree of hope for events earmarked for mid to late August and not already cancelled – and for those in September. And why not use that month for re-scheduling? We could have a bit of a piping summer yet.

If confirmed:

PHASE 1 beginning May 18 will lift the following restrictions: Construction workers, landscape gardeners and other outdoor workers may return to work/ Garden centres, repair shops and hardware stores may reopen/ Fitness & sport activities (non-contact) in small groups (max of 4 people) may resume (golf included)/ People may meet up with friends and family in small groups outdoors (max 4 people)/ Majority of regular health services will resume/ Outdoor public amenities and tourism sites may reopen (beaches & mountain walks)

PHASE 2 beginning June 8 will lift the following restrictions: Restriction will be extended from 5km to 20km/ Home visits by a small number of persons for a short period of time will be allowed to those isolating/ Up to four people may visit another household for a short time/ Slightly larger family gatherings at funerals will be permitted (limited to maximum safe social distancing that can still be applied)/ Solitary workers and workers that can maintain social distancing can return to work/ Small retail outlets that can control staff and customer numbers and maintain social distancing may reopen/ Public libraries will reopen/ Outdoor sporting activities, involving small group training (no matches) can recommence (no contact allowed)

PHASE 3 beginning June 29 will lift the following restrictions: Commence opening of creches and pre-schools for children of essential workers/ Commence a phased approach to visiting at hospitals and other healthcare buildings/ Businesses where employees have low levels of daily interaction may reopen/ Phase in the opening of all other non-essential retail outlets, restricting customer numbers and applying social distancing (limited to retail outlets with street level entrance and exit, i.e. not in shopping centres)/ Playgrounds will be reopened/ ‘Behind closed doors’ sporting events may recommence/ Cafes and restaurants may reopen as long as social distancing is maintained

PHASE 4 beginning July 20 will lift the following restrictions: Travel will be extended to outside of your region/ Larger household visits will be permitted/ Small social gatherings will be permitted (baptisms, small weddings etc.)/ Creches and pre-schools will reopen for all other children/ Other employees return to work – beginning with those who cannot work remotely and then staggering the working times to ensure social distancing/ Barbers and hairdressers may reopen/ Museums and other cultural outlets may reopen/ Sports teams may recommence and public swimming pools may reopen/ Hotels and other hospitality units may reopen based on limited occupancy. Hotel bars are to remain closed.

PHASE 5 beginning August 10 will lift the following restrictions: Social gatherings will be permitted except for large gathering and gatherings in households of suspect cases/ Schools and colleges will reopen on a phased basis and will recommence in the new academic year/ Normal hospital and other residential setting visits will be allowed/ All employees may return to work on normal onsite arrangements, except organisations that cannot maintain social distancing plans/ Enclosed shopping centres may reopen/ Tattoo and piercing parlours may reopen/ Cinemas may reopen/ Close contact physical sports may recommence/ Gyms and dance studios may reopen/ Mass sporting events may recommence where social distancing can be maintained/ Indoor recreational venues may reopen (bowling, bingo etc.)/ Small festivals and other outdoor cultural events may resume/ Tourist travel to offshore islands may resume.

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1 thought on “Proposals For Easing UK Lockdown Could Offer Hope of Some Piping this Summer

  1. Would bands want to take any risks with this no practices and social distancing.
    Would seem a bit premature considering all have been cancelled for the year.
    No false hopes please

    No false hopes

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