Haircuts, pints and a one metre rule: More lockdown measures lifted
- Credit: PA
Families can be reunited and dinner parties will be allowed as England’s coronavirus lockdown is eased - but millions of people will still be unable to hug their loved ones.
Under the changes from July 4, indoor gatherings involving two separate households will be permitted - including the possibility of visiting reopened pubs and restaurants - but social distancing will need to be maintained.
The two-metre rule will be eased, replaced with a “one-metre plus” measure, with the protection offered by the physical distance enhanced by other mitigation measures such as the use of face coverings, increased hygiene or layout changes in premises.
Boris Johnson said the “national hibernation” was beginning to end, and “life is returning to our streets”.
The Prime Minister told MPs that progress in tackling the virus meant steps could be taken to “safely ease the lockdown”, but “caution will remain our watchword”.
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Mr Johnson acknowledged that the two-metre rule “effectively makes life impossible for large parts of our economy even without other restrictions”.
He added: “We’re today (Tuesday) publishing guidance on how business can reduce the risk by taking certain steps to protect workers and customers.
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“And these include, for instance, avoiding face-to-face seating by changing office layouts, reducing the number of people in enclosed spaces, improving ventilation, using protective screens and face coverings, closing non-essential social spaces, providing hand sanitiser, changing shift patterns so that staff work in set teams.”
With guidance replacing legislation, Mr Johnson said he was relying on people using their common sense to limit the spread of the virus.
Officials acknowledged that July 4 was a significant step, but remained a long way away from normal life.
Among the measures announced by Mr Johnson:
- Pubs and restaurants will be limited to table service.
- People will be able to stay overnight in hotels, bed and breakfasts and campsites.
- Most leisure facilities and tourist attractions can reopen.
- Cinemas, museums and galleries will be allowed to admit visitors.
- People will be able to go to hairdressers to trim their lockdown locks.
However, nightclubs, soft play centres and other businesses that involve close contact will remain shut - including nail bars and beauty salons.
The key points:
- Social distancing
The two-metre social distancing rule can now be relaxed and replaced with a “one metre plus” rule.
This involves keeping one metre apart, plus other mitigations such as wearing face coverings, sitting people side to side rather than face to face to reduce transmission, and increased use of hand sanitiser.
- Indoor gatherings
Indoor gatherings of any two households will now be allowed. People will be able to visit someone’s house for a dinner party, for example, or to stay over with grandparents as long as social distancing is observed.
- Reopening businesses
Many venues and businesses will be allowed to reopen, as long as they are “Covid-secure”, for example by maintaining social distancing.
These include hotels, hostels, bed and breakfast accommodation, holiday apartments or homes, cottages or bungalows, campsites, caravan parks or boarding houses. Shared facilities must be kept very clean.
Restaurants, cafes, workplace canteens, bars, pubs and cinemas can reopen, as can places of worship, libraries, community centres and bingo halls.
Theatres and concert halls can reopen but not for live performances.
Museums and galleries, hair salons and barbers can reopen.
Outdoor playgrounds, outdoor gyms, funfairs, theme parks and adventure parks and activities can reopen.
Amusement arcades, outdoor skating rinks, indoor leisure centres or facilities - including indoor games and recreation - can also open up.
Social clubs, model villages and indoor attractions at aquariums, zoos, safari parks, farms, wildlife centres, and any place where animals are exhibited to the public as an attraction, can reopen.
- Some venues must stay shut
But some venues must stay shut, including nightclubs, casinos, bowling alleys, indoor skating rinks, and indoor play areas including softplay.
Spas, nail bars and beauty salons must also stay closed for now, as must massage, tattoo and piercing parlours.
Indoor fitness and dance studios, and indoor gyms and sport venues, must stay closed.
Swimming pools and water parks will stay closed.
Exhibition or conference centres that are to be used for exhibitions or conferences must also stay closed.