UK News What you need to know about changes to social distancing and pubs reopening
Zoos reopen to visitors for the first time since lockdown
Social distancing measures were brought in to keep people safe as they return to zoo and safari park trips.Zoos and safari parks have been allowed to open their doors to visitors from Monday, as part of efforts to begin reopening the economy, as long as they have implemented social distancing and other safety measures.
The Prime Minister has announced a series of changes to the lockdown in England, telling MPs the “long national hibernation” was coming to a close.
Here is how the alterations, due to come in on July 4, will impact people’s lives.
– Do we have to keep to being two metres apart?
The Government has changed its guidance, following a Downing Street review into the two-metre advice, to recommend that individuals not from the same household should remain “one metre-plus” away from each other to reduce the risk of transmission.
Eva Green's 'Proxima' to reopen UK cinemas on 10 July
Proxima looks set to be the first new release to hit Cineworld and Picturehouse cinemas when they reopen on 10 July. The astronaut drama, starring Eva Green and Matt Dillon and directed by acclaimed filmmaker Alice Winocour, is the first title to stake a claim to the weekend that cinemas are planning to welcome back customers for the first time since March. The film opened this year’s Glasgow Film Festival in February, following on from its Toronto, Macao and San Sebastian festival plays, and was originally scheduled for release by Picturehouse Entertainment on 8 May.
The “plus” element is about putting in mitigation, including wearing a mask, regularly washing hands or sitting side-by-side rather than face-to-face, if a two-metre distance cannot be kept to.
The move should make it easier for the hospitality sector and other businesses to reopen.
Boris Johnson, speaking in the Commons, said: “Whilst the experts cannot give a precise assessment of how much the risk is reduced, they judge these mitigations would make ‘one metre-plus’ broadly equivalent to the risk at two metres if those mitigations are fully implemented.”
Pubs left in limbo over July opening date, PM told
Hundreds of thousands of jobs could be lost and pubs could close permanently unless the Government confirms the July 4 date, industry warns.Chief executives of leading brewers and pub operators wrote to Boris Johnson to warn him that the sector has reached “crisis point” and needs to know that they can open from July 4.
– What other big changes were announced?
As well as reducing the social distancing requirement, Mr Johnson said two households from next month would be able to start meeting indoors, so long as the “one metre-plus” rule was kept to.
The household you choose to meet up with does not have to be exclusive, unlike in the social bubbles scenario created recently to help ease loneliness.
It means a family could see one set of grandparents on one weekend and see the other on the following weekend, said the Prime Minister.
– Can we finally hug our relatives?
If you do not live in the same household, the answer to that is still no.
Two households meeting for dinner can sit at the same table but still must not touch and should attempt to uphold the “one metre-plus” rules, according to the guidance announced on Tuesday.
Shoppers to English high streets up 51% as non-essential retailers reopened
The latest Springboard footfall figures show a jump in England but non-essential retailers in Wales and Scotland remain closed.Between Monday June 15 and Sunday June 21 the number of shoppers was up compared with the week before but remain at historic lows, according to Springboard.
– Can we go anywhere else with another household?
It is a resounding “yes” on this front.
Mr Johnson told MPs that restaurants, pubs and “self-contained accommodation” including hotels, B&Bs and campsites can soon reopen, as long as Government guidelines on how to lower the risk of coronavirus transmission is followed.
This will see changes to how pubs operate and possible alterations to layouts.
Non-essential shops have already been given the green light to let customers back in again.
– So can we go on a trip or to the pub with friends in England?
As long as those friends are from only one other household, then you can take a “staycation” trip together.
Any shared facilities should be cleaned regularly, is the guidance being given.
And with pubs back open, two households could go for a pint together.
– What will post-lockdown pubs and restaurants be like?
There will be no hanging out at the bar, first of all.
Ministers will be advising publicans to provide table service to reduce the amount of interaction on shared surfaces.
Pubs and cinemas to re-open in latest lockdown easing
Boris Johnson is to publish the results of a review of the two-metre social-distancing rule in England.The Prime Minister is publishing the Government’s keenly-awaited review of the two-metre social-distancing rule on Tuesday, amid widespread expectations it will be cut to one metre.
Restaurant and bar managers will also be asked to take the contact details of those visiting their premises so that, in the event of a local Covid-19 outbreak, the contact details can be handed to the NHS test and trace team to advise people to self-isolate.
While a trip to the pub is back on the cards, clinking glasses with a large group of friends inside is not.
While there is no limit on the size of the two households visiting the watering hole together, more people cannot join in the socialising in a bid to limit the chain of virus transmission, according to officials.
– What else can reopen from July 4?
The PM read out a lengthy list in the Commons of venues and attractions that can now benefit from the lockdown easing.
They include places of worship, cinemas, museums, art galleries, bingo halls, community centres, hair salons, work canteens, outdoor playgrounds and gyms, as well as indoor attractions at zoos and aquariums.
Places of worship will be able to hold services once again, with weddings back on but numbers capped at 30.
Theatres and concert halls will be allowed to open but will be banned from playing live performances.
Salon owners welcome two-metre distancing changes ahead of reopening
One London salon said it had more than 2,000 customers on its waiting list.Salon owners said the changes will help ensure the viability of their business when they are eventually allowed to reopen in England on July 4.
Hairdressers and barbers can operate while using use face visors, Mr Johnson confirmed.
– And what will remain shut?
Venues where there is “close proximity” interaction will not be permitted to open their doors yet, the PM said.
That includes nightclubs, indoor gyms, soft-play areas, swimming pools, spas, bowling alleys and water parks.
Mr Johnson said ministers would set up individual taskforces to work with those health and entertainment sectors to ensure such businesses could “reopen as soon as possible”.
– Are there any changes to meeting up outside?
Outside restrictions remain largely the same, except that the two households now permitted to meet inside are welcome to do the same at the park, with no limit on the size of their gathering.
Groups not from the same household meeting up outside continue to be restricted to a maximum of six.
– Is this the end of lockdown, then?
It is a significant reduction in restrictions and the new measures will allow people to socialise more than they have in months.
But the PM warned that local lockdowns, and even a clampdown affecting the whole country, could still be required if major Covid outbreaks occur.
Officials also pointed to the fact some businesses were still being asked to stay closed and social distancing remains in place as a sign that there was still much to overcome.
Mr Johnson told MPs: “We will not hesitate to apply the brakes and re-introduce restrictions even at national level – if required.”
Landlord in cross-border village laments continuing pub lockdown in Wales .
The Dolphin Inn in Llanymynech will stay closed as per Welsh Government guidelines while two nearby pubs will open on Saturday.Drinkers in Llanymynech, which is divided by the England-Wales border, will be able to return to the Cross Keys and the Bradford Arms on Saturday.