The government is considering a sector-by-sector approach to ending the COVID-19 lockdown, with manufacturing, food and logistics considered the priorities.
This approach would see a “gradual” exit from the lockdown with restrictions for logistics and food supply companies also being lifted early, according to a report in The Guardian.
Industry leaders have been briefed on different approaches, including allowing people in their 20s and 30s to return work before others.
‘Activity still ongoing’
A spokesman for Make UK, a trade body for manufacturers, told the Daily Update (14 April) that manufacturing activity has been ongoing during the lockdown and “large parts of the sector are still operating safely.
Make UK said many vital products related to medical kit and personal protective equipment are currently being produced by the sector.
Several of the UK’s largest manufacturing companies have switched production lines entirely to this end, including Dyson and Airbus.
Make UK referred to an ongoing social media campaign promoting such activity on its @MakeUK_Campaigns twitter feed and under the #ManufacturingHeroes hashtag.
There is scepticism in government that lifting rules in some sectors and age cohorts could see a drop in lockdown compliance from the public at large.
Downing Street has not yet publicly set out the UK’s exit strategy, despite calls from the Labour party to do so.
The prime minister’s official spokesman is quoted in the Guardian as saying: “Whitehall is working extensively on this, but the peak has been not reached and the government needs to focus in its public messaging on staying at home to save lives.”