Health, fitness and Food
Nine changes to UK restrictions Boris Johnson expected to announce today
Boris Johnson is to set out plans to allow pubs, restaurants, museums and cinemas to begin re-opening in the latest easing of the coronavirus lockdown in England.
The Prime Minister is publishing the Government’s keenly-awaited review of the two-metre social-distancing rule on Tuesday, amid widespread expectations it will be cut to one metre.
He will brief the Cabinet on the proposals – due to take effect from July 4 – before setting out details in a Commons statement.
Potential changes include:
- Pubs reopening
- Cinemas reopening
- Galleries reopening
- Museums reopening
- Relaxation of two-metre rule
- Changes to shielding
- Hairdressers and barbers reopening
- Hotels reopening
- Bigger social bubbles
The move follows intense pressure from some Tory MPs who have said easing the two-metre requirement is key to re-opening the hard pressed hospitality sector.
Many pubs and restaurants have warned that it would simply not be viable for them to operate as long as the rule remains in place.
With ministers desperate to restart the stalled economy, detailed sector-by-sector guidance will be published for businesses in England – from hotels to hairdressers – on how to re-open in a Covid-secure manner.
Customers at pubs and bars may have to sign guest books with their names and contact details so they could be traced if they come into contact with someone who is infected.
Elements of the arts and culture sector will also benefit from the easing – including cinemas, museums and art galleries – which will be able to begin welcoming back visitors under the latest stage of the Government’s road map for lifting the lockdown.
It could mean introducing one-way systems, spaced queuing, increased ventilation, and pre-booked tickets to ensure people can return safely.
Elsewhere, ministers having suggested installing perspex screens, altering seating arrangements and requiring the wearing of face coverings to mitigate the risk of spreading the disease as the rules are eased.
The Government’s decision over whether to relax the two metre social distancing rules in England will be revealed today.
It follows pressure from MPs and businesses to reduce the rule to one metre as part of steps to gradually ease the coronavirus lockdown and boost the country’s economy.
Reducing the two metre social distancing restriction could also allow schools in England to reopen fully by September.
The 2.2 million people in England who are currently shielding can meet in groups from July 6, the Health Secretary has said – with shielding coming to a stop at the end of July.
Matt Hancock said shielding had been “incredibly tough” as he set out how those who have been in the most vulnerable category will be able to meet in groups of up to six people outdoors, and some can form a “support bubble” with another household.