- The coronavirus lockdown in England will be dramatically loosened from July 4, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Tuesday.
- Pubs, restaurants, hotels, cinemas, and other indoor venues can reopen with some restrictions, and households will be able to meet indoors with one other household at a time, Johnson said.
- The 2-metre social-distancing restriction will also be relaxed to a “1-metre-plus” guideline, he said.
- Restrictions on indoor performances and gyms will remain.
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Pubs, restaurants, hotels, and hairdressers will be able to reopen in England from the first week in July, and people will have more freedom to meet friends and family indoors, effectively ending the strict lockdown measures in the country.
As of July 4, England’s hospitality sector will be able to reopen with some restrictions after spending several weeks in lockdown, as will other leisure facilities like cinemas, galleries, and theatres, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the House of Commons on Tuesday.
“Our long hibernation is beginning to come to an end,” Johnson told the UK Parliament.
“Life is returning to our streets and to your shops. The bustle is starting to come back.
“And a new but cautious optimism is palpable.”
The prime minister said guidance would replace legislation in the country, adding that he would “trust the British public to use their common sense in full knowledge of the risks” of the COVID-19 virus.
“The more we open up, the more vigilant we will need to be,” Johnson said.
“From now on, we will ask people to follow guidance on social contact instead of legislation.”
Reopening from July 4
- Theatres (for non-live performances)
- Holiday homes
- Outdoor playgrounds
- Bowling alleys
- Soft play centres
- Nail bars
- Swimming pools
- Music venues
Johnson said that as of July 4, the 2-metre rule, which instructs people to stay at least 2 metres away from people from other households, would be changed to a “1-metre-plus” rule to help businesses reopen to the public.
The new rule means that where staying 2 metres away from others is not possible, people should maintain a distance of at least 1 metre and take other mitigations to help contain the spread of COVID-19.
Mitigations include people wearing face coverings on public transport; restaurants, pubs, bars, and cafes installing screens between tables; and everyone regularly using hand sanitizer in public places.
Johnson also announced that people in England would have more freedom to see friends and family: As of July 4, two households of any size will be able to visit each other indoors or outdoors. This is not exclusive, meaning a household could mix with different households on different days.
Restrictions on gyms, swimming pools, and live-music venues will remain.
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