Pubs, restaurants and hairdressers: What are the new coronavirus lockdown rules in England?

23 June 2020, 13:50

By Kate Buck

Boris Johnson has announced a string of new lockdown relaxations for England, paving the way for Brits to finally get back into the pub.

Speaking in the House of Commons, the Prime Minister said: "Today we can say that our long national hibernation is beginning to come to an end."

It has been almost three months since Britain went into lockdown, shutting almost every non-essential retail business and asking families and friends to remain away from one another to stem the spread of infection.

READ MORE: Health experts warn UK must prepare now for second wave of Covid-19

But from 4 July, a number of places of leisure will be permitted to open again, and for people to finally be reunited - as long as they observe social distancing rules.

Mr Johnson warned the possibility of facilities remaining open will depend on the number of cases and R value in the country, and said he "won't hesitate to put the breaks on" if cases once again begin to rise.

So what are the new changes?

Social distancing

The Prime Minister said the two-metre rule will be reduced to "one metre-plus" from 4 July.

He told the Commons: "Given the significant fall in the prevalence of the virus we can change the two-metre social distancing rule from July 4."

He added: "Where it is possible to keep two metres apart, people should.

"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."

He added this meant "avoiding public transport where possible, wearing a mask when you have to use public transport, getting tested immediately if you have symptoms, self-isolating if instructed to do so by NHS test and trace."

Boris Johnson has announced a string of new measures on coronavirus
Boris Johnson has announced a string of new measures on coronavirus. Picture: PA

Pubs, restaurants and bars

Mr Johnson said restaurants and pubs will be allowed to reopen, so long as they operate with a table service.

Diners will be required to observe social distancing rules, and hand over their contact details in case of an outbreak do they can be contacted.

He said: "I can tell the House that we will also reopen restaurants and pubs. All hospitality indoors will be limited to table service and our guidance will encourage minimal staff and customer contact.

"We will ask businesses to help NHS Test and Trace respond to any local outbreaks by collecting contact details from customers as happens in other countries and we will work with the sector to make this manageable."

Pubs will be allowed to open again for the first time since March
Pubs will be allowed to open again for the first time since March. Picture: PA

Hairdressers

Hairdressers will be allowed to reopen, but other close contact services will only be allowed to open when they can operate in a "Covid-secure way".

Mr Johnson said: "Almost as eagerly awaited as a pint will be a haircut, particularly by me, and so we will reopen hairdressers with appropriate precautions, including the use of visors.

"We also intend to allow some other close contact services such as nail bars to reopen as soon as we can when we are confident that they can operate in a Covid-secure way."

Households meeting

Mr Johnson said that from 4 July, two households of any size should be able to meet in any setting, paving the way for millions of people to finally be reunites with their loved ones.

But hugs are still off the table for the time being, as social distancing rules are still in place.

One household may also stay at another household overnight - so long as social distancing is followed once inside.

He said: "From now on, we will ask people to follow guidance on social contact instead of legislation.

"In that spirit, we advise that from July 4, two households of any size should be able to meet in any setting inside or out.

"That does not mean they must always be the same two households, it will be possible for instance to meet one set of grandparents one weekend, the others the following weekend.

"But we are not recommending meetings of multiple households indoors because of the risk of creating greater chains of transmission."

Schools

Schools have also been closed since the end of March, sparking fears children could be missing out on their education.

Some primary school pupils returned to the classroom at the beginning of the month, and Mr Johnson says every pupil should be back at school in September.

He also said "wraparound care" for school-age children and formal childcare will "restart over the summer" and added: "Primary and secondary education will recommence in September with full attendance and those children who can already go to school should do so because it is safe.

Hotels, campsites and BnBs

Thousands of summer holidays have been cancelled as a result of the pandemic, but for the first time since March a staycation could be on the cards.

From 4 July, campsites will be permitted to reopen, so long as shared facilities are kept clean.

And hotels and BnBs will also be allowed to open again.

"From July 4, provided that no more than two households stay together, people will be free to stay overnight in self-contained accommodation including hotels and bed and breakfasts, as well as camp sites, as long as shared facilities are kept clean."

What is staying closed?

Although the news of many shops and businesses is likely to be a welcome relief for the millions living in England, a number of other facilities will not be opening.

Close-proximity venues such as nightclubs, soft play areas, indoor gyms, swimming pools and spas, bowling alleys and water park will - for now at least - need to keep their doors shut.

Mr Johnson added: "But my right honourable friends the Business and Culture Secretaries will establish task forces with public health experts and the sectors to help them become Covid-secure and reopen as soon as possible.

"We will also work with the arts industry on specific guidance to enable choirs, orchestras and theatres to resume live performances as soon as possible.

"Recreation and sport will be allowed, but indoor facilities including changing rooms and courts will remain closed and people should only play close contact team sports with members of their household."

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