“Our long national hibernation is beginning to come to an end,” Boris Johnson told MPs on Tuesday as he announced pubs, restaurants and hairdressers will be among the businesses allowed to reopen next month.
In the most significant easing of restrictions since the coronavirus lockdown was imposed on 23 March, the prime minister also announced that social distancing rules will be cut from two metres to “one metre-plus” in England from 4 July.
It will pave the way for overnight stays with friends and family, while a long list of businesses in the stricken hospitality sector will be allowed to reopen.
Johnson said: “Life is returning to our streets, to our shops.
“The bustle is starting to come back, and a new but cautious optimism is palpable.”
Here is how the latest easing of the lockdown will affect people in England from 4 July.
Friends and family
Indoor gatherings involving two separate households of any size will be permitted, with overnight stays also allowed.
However, people should still follow the new “one metre-plus” social distancing guidelines.
Johnson said different households can meet on different occasions: “It would be possible, for instance, to meet one set of grandparents one weekend, the others the following weekend.”
He added the government is not recommending meetings of multiple households indoors “because of the risks of creating greater chains of transmission”.
In outdoor scenarios, the current guidance is that up to six people from multiple households can meet. This will remain the same.
A number of businesses and venues will be allowed to reopen as long as they are “COVID secure”, Johnson announced. These include:
hotels, hostels and bed and breakfast accommodation; holiday apartments and homes; campsites and caravan parks
restaurants and cafes; workplace canteens; bars and pubs; cinemas; places of worship; libraries; community centres; bingo halls
theatres and concert halls – but not for live performances
museums and galleries; hair salons and barbers
outdoor playgrounds and outdoor gyms; funfairs; theme parks
amusement arcades; outdoor skating rinks; indoor leisure centres
indoor attractions at aquariums, zoos, safari parks, farms, wildlife centres; any place where animals are exhibited to the public as an attraction
However, the PM also attached a number of conditions to these businesses. These include:
all hospitality indoors being limited to table service, with minimal staff and customer contact
customer contact details being collected to help the NHS Test and Trace system respond to any local outbreaks
hairdressers and barbers using visors
any shared facilities being kept clean
Businesses staying shut
Johnson said “close proximity venues” will have to remain closed for now. These include:
nightclubs; casinos; bowling alleys; indoor skating rinks; indoor play areas including soft play
spas; nail bars; beauty salons; massage, tattoo and piercing parlours
indoor fitness and dance studios; indoor gyms and sport venues
swimming pools and water parks
exhibition or conference centres
The PM pledged cabinet colleagues will set up task forces to help these businesses “become COVID secure and reopen as soon as possible”.
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