Get ready to have a pint and a haircut (in whichever order you can) after Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined the next stages of easing the coronavirus lockdown, so pubs and hairdressers can reopen from July 4, and social distancing is dropping to one metre.
All hospitality services indoors will be limited to table service and guidance will encourage minimal staff and customer contact.
Boris Johnson said this is a vital change that enables the next phase of the plan to ease lockdown as the infection rate continues to fall.
What’s reopening on July 4
- Pubs and restaurants will be allowed to open both indoors and outdoors if they put in safety guidelines including table service.
- Hair salons and barbers can reopen, but with appropriate precautions in place such as the use of visors
- Hotels, hostels bed and breakfast accommodation, holiday apartments or homes, cottages or bungalows, campsites, caravan parks or boarding houses will be able to reopen, as well as cafes and workplace canteens.
- Outdoor playgrounds, museums, galleries, outdoor gyms, cinemas, arcades, libraries, social clubs and community centres can also re-open if they are able to do so safely
- Funfairs, theme parks and adventure parks and activities
- Theatres and concert halls (guidance dictates no live performances)
- Places of worship will reopen for prayer and services, and weddings will resume with a maximum of 30 guests
- Indoor attractions at aquariums, zoos, safari parks, farms and wildlife centres and any place where animals are exhibited to the public as an attraction
- Bingo halls
- Model villages
- Outdoor skating rinks
- Other indoor leisure centres or facilities, including indoor games, recreation and entertainment venues
Who won’t open on July 4
- Indoor gyms and sports venues/facilities
- Bowling alleys and indoor skating rinks
- Indoor play areas including soft play
- Nail bars and beauty salons
- Massage, tattoo and piercing parlours
- Indoor fitness and dance studios
- Swimming pools and water parks
- Exhibition and conference centres – where they are to be used for exhibitions or conferences, other than for those who work for that venue
The Prime Minister also announced that all schools in England will reopen fully in September.
When asked why certain activities are allowed and some are not, Boris Johnson said: “The virus has no interest in these debates. It’s only ambition is to exploit any opportunity to recapture ground that we might carelessly vacate and to reinfect our communities. The fewer social contacts you have the safer you will be.”
He added that the government cannot lift all restrictions at once and that every step is scrupulously weighed against the evidence.
Each step will be conditional and reversible and he said there will be “flare-ups” of coronavirus, for which local measures might be needed.
From July 4, two households of any size should be able to meet in any setting inside or out. However, this doesn’t mean that it always has to be the same two households.
The government is not recommending meetings of multiple households indoors due to risk of creating greater chains of infection. However, outside people from several households can still meet in groups of up to six.
From the same date, the two metre social distancing will be changing. Where it is possible people should still try to keep two metres apart, but where it is not they should keep a distance of ‘one metre plus’.
This means staying one metre apart, plus mitigations which reduce the risk of transmission.
Guidance will be published for business about what they can do, including avoiding face-to-face seating, reducing the number of people in enclosed spaces, changing shift patters etc.