At this point, most of us (who have the luxury of doing so) are getting a little bit sick of social distancing.

Lockdown feels like it’s gone on for years and we’re not sure when it’s all going to end and if we’ll ever truly go back to normal.

But there might now be a tiny ray of light at the end of the (very long and boring) tunnel.

China and parts of Europe are now coming out of the other side of the “upward curve” in new cases that we keep hearing about. As a result, they’re starting to ease lockdown rules, taking people a step forward into normality.

IFL Science reports that the World Health Organization (WHO) has also updated its Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan to include advice on the six criteria countries should meet before attempting to lift lockdown restrictions in full.

Here’s the milestones to aim for...

1. Covid-19 transmission is controlled

Countries need to transition to a state where new transmissions are low or non-existent. New transmissions must be able to be supported by the health care system.

2. Covid-19 can be detected, isolated and quarantined.

This likely hinges on antibody tests being widely available, rather than just to people in hospitals.

3. Vulnerable spaces are safeguarded

This refers to places like nursing homes and care homes, where Covid-19 is currently rife in the UK and America.

4. Prevention measures are put in place in schools and workplaces

Workplaces and schools must follow physical distancing rules and hygiene guidelines to avoid fresh outbreaks of the disease.

5. Importation risk can be managed

This requires keeping on top new infections which may have arrived from overseas and detect new cases in order to prevent a fresh outbreak.

6. Communities are equipped with information

In order for a lifting of lockdown to work, the public need to be equipped with all this information and be able to put the updated guidelines into practice in their day-to-day lives.

So there we have it: lockdown might be over sooner than you think...

... as long as we manage to adhere to these criteria, some of which might be harder than others to achieve.

Read WHO director-general’s full remarks here.

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