Setting out the latest easing of the lockdown, the PM says the two-metre social distancing rule will be reduced to One-metre plus
Boris Johnson has announced changes to the nationwide lockdown, with a reduction in the previous two-metre social distancing guidelines, as he gave the green light for pubs, restaurants, hotels, hairdressers and barbers in England to re-open for business from the 4th of July.
Setting out the plans for the latest easing of the COVID-19 lockdown, the Prime Minister said “our long, national hibernation is coming to an end” and “life is returning to our streets”.
Mr Johnson has said that from next month people will be required to keep “one-metre plus” away from each other, while also taking measures to mitigate the risk of transmitting the coronavirus and the potential for a second wave of the disease.
The Prime Minister went on to say:
“Where it is possible to keep two metres apart, people should,”
“But where it is not, we will advise people to keep a social distance of one-metre plus, meaning they should remain one metre apart while taking mitigating measures to reduce the risk of transmission.”
These “mitigating measures” include wearing a face covering when using public transport, handwashing, screens, being outside and limiting time interacting with others.
Another change to the guidelines from the 4th of July will be allowing gatherings of two different households indoors, provided that social distancing measures are maintained with those people keeping a distance of one-metre plus away from those of another household.
This means that families will be able to be reunited and dinner parties will be allowed, but people will still not be permitted to hug one another.
Other changes that will take effect from the 4th of July will include:
- Theatres and concert halls can operate once again, but cannot stage live performances
- In a boost for domestic tourism, most leisure facilities and tourist attractions can reopen, while people will be allowed to stay overnight in hotels, bed and breakfasts and campsites
- Wedding services of up to 30 people will be allowed, provided social distancing is maintained, with places of worship permitted to reopen
- Outdoor gyms and playgrounds can be used once more
- Community centres and bingo halls will be permitted to reopen
Sector-by-sector guidance is set to be published for businesses, advising them on what actions need to be taken for them to be able to re-open safely.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said:
“There are obviously a number of questions that need to be answered, but overall I welcome this statement.”
“I believe the government is trying to do the right thing and in that, we will support them.”