Pubs and restaurants to reopen as 2m social distancing rule relaxed

Prime Minister Boris Johnson giving a statement in the House of Commons, London, on the reduction of

Prime Minister Boris Johnson giving a statement in the House of Commons, London, on the reduction of further lockdown measures. Picture: House of Commons/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Pubs, restaurants and hairdressers will be able to reopen in Suffolk from July 4 as the 2m social distancing rules is relaxed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has sparked a huge backlash this week for his comments on care homes, w

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has sparked a huge backlash this week for his comments on care homes, which he has stood by Picture: PA Wire/PA Images - Credit: PA

The PM today announced a further relaxation to the measure in a speech in the House of Commons.

He revealed that from July 4, all cinemas, museums and galleries will be able to welcome visitors, as long as safety measures are in place.

He also set out how pubs and restaurants can reopen safely as well as relaxing the 2m social distancing rule to “1m plus”.

MORE: What are all the changes to lockdown coming on July 4?

During the speech the Prime Minister said: “Given the significant fall in the prevalence of the virus we can change the two-metre social distancing rule from July 4.

“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.”

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During the statement, Mr Johnson did confirm however that indoor gyms, swimming pools and spas would have to remain closed.

He added: “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.

“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.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said he welcomed the Prime Minister’s statement.

He said: “We will study the guidance, and there are obviously a number of questions that need to be answered, but overall I welcome this statement.

“I believe the Government is trying to do the right thing and in that, we will support them.”

Sir Keir said there “are no easy decisions” to be made around easing the lockdown.

He told MPs: “Any unlocking carries risks. It has to phased, managed and carefully planned.

“It needs to be based on scientific evidence, properly communicated, accompanied by robust track and trace systems.

“And there must be support for local councils and communities to respond quickly and decisively if there any fresh outbreaks.

“But there are risks of inaction as well. Of keeping businesses and schools closed, of keeping our economy closed, of keeping families apart and we all need to recognise that today.”

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