Coronavirus: Lockdown to be relaxed in England as 2m rule eased


Coronavirus: Lockdown to be relaxed in England as 2m rule eased

Two households will be able to meet, and pubs, restaurants and hairdressers can reopen from 4 July.

Pubs, restaurants, hotels and hairdressers can open from 4 July in England, when social distancing rules will be eased.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said people should remain 2m apart where possible but a “one metre plus” rule will be introduced.

Two households in England will also be able to meet indoors and stay overnight – with social distancing.

The prime minister warned that all the steps were “reversible”.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford and Northern Ireland’s Arlene Foster have said the 2m rule will remain in place in their nations for the moment.

Indoor gyms, swimming pools, nail bars and indoor play areas are among the list of businesses that will remain closed, as they have been since lockdown started on 23 March.

The meeting of households will not be exclusive so, for example, one set of grandparents could see their relatives one weekend, and the other set of grandparents the next.

But, unlike the bubble system, people will have to maintain social distance – so family members who live apart will not be able to hug.

Mr Johnson said people would be encouraged to use “mitigation” – such as face coverings and not sitting face-to-face – when less than 2m from each other but “where it is possible to keep 2m apart, people should”.

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