It has been announced that restaurants, museums and cinemas are allowed to reopen from 4th July, alongside galleries, hair salons, campsites and pubs. Members of two households are also able to dine together and the two metre physical distancing rule has been changed to ‘one metre plus’.
The new eased lockdown measures were introduced at Tuesday’s briefing, with households now able to host ‘outside’ visitors, including for overnight stays, as long as they stick to physical-distancing guidelines. Members of different households can meet on different occasions, even in pubs, restaurants and hotels.
The two metre rule has been crucial in the UK’s battle against coronavirus, but as the spread of infections has been declining, the less stringent guidance has been introduced. Public venues reopening such as pubs and restaurants must keep a record of all visitors, so they can be traced if an outbreak does occur. Theatres and concert halls have also been given the go ahead to open, but cannot host live performances.
Boris Johnson explained at the briefing that the two metre rule was making life impossible for large parts of the economy, even without other restrictions. Given the number of new infections has been declining daily, the decision was made to drop it.
“Where it is possible to keep two metres apart, people should,” he added. “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 mitigations to reduce the risk of transmission.”
Giving the tourism and hospitality sector the green light to reopen, businesses such as theme parks and visitor attractions will also be able to open from 4th July. Many businesses have however taken to social media channels to announce a ‘staggered’ return, avoiding an opening in the first week of July, to ensure safety for all staff and visitors.