Pubs, restaurants and hairdressers to open next week
Speaking in the House of Commons, Boris Johnson said that as the infection and death rate has continued to fall from the record highs, lockdown in England can be eased.
The two metre social distancing rule will be changed to ‘one metre plus’ from 4 July where the two metre distancing isn’t possible, allowing further sectors of the economy to open.
Johnson said: “I can tell the House that we will also re-open restaurants and pubs.
“All hospitality indoors will be limited to table-service, and our guidance will encourage minimal staff and customer contact.
“We will ask businesses to help NHS Test and Trace respond to any local outbreaks by collecting contact details from customers, as happens in other countries, and we will work with the sector to make this manageable.
“Almost as eagerly awaited as a pint will be a haircut, particularly by me, and so we will re-open hairdressers, with appropriate precautions, including the use of visors.”
The PM added that the government will also allow other close contact services, such as nail bars to open as soon as possible where it is confident they can operate in a “Covid-secure way”.
Johnson also announced that two households of any size will be allowed to meet in any setting inside or out, adding that “caution will remain our watchword”.
He said: “That does not mean they must always be the same two households.
“It will be possible for instance to meet one set of grandparents one weekend, and the others the following weekend.
“We are not recommending meetings of multiple households indoors because of the risk of creating greater chains of transmission.
“Outside, the guidance remains that people from several households can meet in groups of up to six.”
Turning to the accommodation sector, the PM said that from 4 July, provided that no more than two households stay together, people will be free to stay overnight in self-contained accommodation, including hotels and bed & breakfasts, as well as campsites as long as shared facilities are kept clean.
“Most leisure facilities and tourist attractions will re-open if they can do so safely, including outdoor gyms and playgrounds, cinemas, museums, galleries, theme parks and arcades as well as libraries, social clubs and community centres.”
However, ‘close proximity’ venues such as nightclubs, soft-play areas, indoor gyms, swimming pools, spas, bowling alleys and water parks will remain closed for now.
Johnson also gave the go ahead for weddings with a maximum of 30 people, and as long as social distancing is maintained.
He said: “Today, we can say that our long national hibernation is beginning to come to an end and life is returning to our shops, streets and homes and a new, but cautious, optimism is palpable.
“But it would be all too easy for that frost to return and that is why we will continue to trust in the common sense and the community spirit of the British people to follow this guidance, to carry us through and see us to victory over this virus.”