In a statement to the Commons on 23 June, the Prime Minister announced that there could be a safe easing of lockdown measures from 4 July, though caution would remain the watchword and that each step would be “conditional and reversible”.
The PM went on to say that from 4 July, where it is not possible to stay two metres apart, guidance will allow people to keep a distance of “one metre plus”. This means staying one metre apart plus taking mitigating steps to reduce the risk of transmission. These steps included:
- Avoiding face to face contact
- 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 can work in teams
- And continuing to use face coverings on public transport.
Detailed guidance is expected shortly.
From 4 July, pubs, restaurants and hairdressers, accommodation sites, outdoor gyms, playgrounds, cinemas, museums, galleries, theme parks, arcades, libraries, social clubs, places of worship and community centres will be able to reopen providing they adhere to Covid-19 Secure guidelines.
While we await details of the amended guidance and Covid Secure guidelines for the businesses permitted to reopen from 4 July, the PM did indicate that all indoor hospitality in restaurants and pubs would be table service only, with minimal staff and customer contact, In addition customer contact details would be taken in case of a local outbreak to facilitate NHS Test & Trace service.
To avoid increasing the risk of transmission, “close proximity” venues must remain closed, e.g. nightclubs, soft-play areas, indoor gyms, swimming pools, water parks, bowling alleys and spas.
While in general terms it remains the case that the fewer social contacts you have the lower your risk of infection or transmission, the Government believes we are to be trusted to use our common sense and to remain vigilant. With this in mind, Mr Johnson says the guidance will be amended, such that two households of any size may meet up in any setting – indoors or out- provided they observe social distancing measures.
Finally, it is likely that localised flare ups will occur, and if needed, the Government will not hesitate to apply the brakes if required.
We will update our website as soon as we receive more details, in the meantime, if you need us, please do get in touch.
Update 24 June: Last night the government issued outline guidance on opening certain businesses and venues in England from 4 July. In most cases, outline guidance for reopening safely is given and this morning the government extended its working safely during coronavirus guidance to include hotels and guest accommodation, close contact services, restaurants & pubs and the visitor economy.