Coronavirus lockdown: All you need to know about new measures

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a series of measures to take effect from 4 July, easing the lockdown in England.

Distancing guidelines

From 4 July the 2m (6ft) social distancing guidance will change in England.

The prime minister said that where it is not possible to stay 2m apart, people should keep a distance of “one metre plus” – this means staying one metre apart, while observing precautions to reduce the risk of transmission.

Businesses are being asked to help by:

  • avoiding face-to-face seating by changing office layouts
  • reducing the number of people in enclosed spaces
  • improving ventilation
  • using protective screens and face coverings
  • closing non-essential social spaces
  • providing hand sanitiser
  • changing shift patterns so that staff work in set teams

In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the 2m distancing rule remains in place for the time being.

  • What is social distancing?

Hospitality

Restaurants, pubs and cafes in England will also be allowed to reopen, providing they follow safety guidelines.

All hospitality indoors will be table service only, and contact between staff and customers will be limited.

Customers will also have to give contact details when they enter a pub or restaurant.

Businesses will be expected to monitor crowd density in their premises, including at pinch points – such as doorways.

  • When will pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants reopen?

Business Secretary Alok Sharma said he expected people to use “common sense”. But he added there was a “legal duty” for businesses to keep employees safe.

Holiday accommodation – including hotels, B&Bs, cottages, campsites and caravan parks – can also reopen, and people in England will be free to stay away from home overnight for the first time since lockdown began in March. But shared facilities must be cleaned properly.

Northern Ireland has also said that holiday accommodation can reopen for business from 26 June, and pubs and restaurants can open on 3 July. Decisions on hospitality and holidays are expected from Wales and Scotland in early July.

Meeting other households

Two households of any size will be able to meet indoors or outside. It will be possible to stay overnight.

This does not have to be the same set of households – the prime minister said. “It will be possible for instance to meet one set of grandparents one weekend, and the others the following weekend.”

However, the government does not not recommend meetings of multiple households indoors because of the risk of infection.

In addition, the two households would have to maintain social distancing – unless they were part of the same support bubble.

Outdoors, people from multiple households can meet in groups of up to six – but two households can meet regardless of size.

In Scotland, people from up to three different households can now meet up outdoors if they maintain social distancing, up to a maximum group size of eight.

In Wales, any number of people from two different households can now meet outdoors.

Groups of up to six people who are not in the same household can meet while socially distancing outdoors in Northern Ireland.

What else will reopen?

  • More outdoor spaces will open if they can do so safely, including outdoor gyms and children’s playgrounds
  • Hairdressers will be able to reopen, as long as they take precautions. Other close-contact services such as nail bars will not yet open, but the prime minister said they would be able to open “as soon as we’re confident they can operate safely”
  • Libraries, community centres, bingo halls, cinemas, museums and galleries will be able to open, along with funfairs and theme parks, amusement arcades, outdoor skating rinks, social clubs and model villages
  • Places of worship will be able to open for prayers and services, including weddings with up to 30 guests – subject to social distancing. Singing will not be permitted

What will remain closed?

  • Nightclubs and casinos remain closed, along with bowling alleys, spas, swimming pools, indoor gyms and soft play centres
  • Theatres and concert halls will not be able to host live performances – but the prime minister said the government would work with the arts industry on specific guidance to enable choirs, orchestras and theatres to resume live events as soon as possible

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