This week will be announced the result of a review of the two-metre rule that defined your last three months. And the Government is likely to introduce relaxed social-distancing measures in England to help kick-start the economy of the country – with a particular view of boosting the hospitality sector – by reducing the two-meter rule to a one-meter practice.
Pubs, restaurants, bars, hotels, hairdressers, cinemas, gyms and leisure centres could reopen as early as July 4 according to the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown, and tomorrow Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to announce whether England is on track to progress to this step.
It’s now increasingly likely an announcement will be made to coincide on the status of the two-metre social-distancing rule. With the news on Friday (June 19) that the level of virus alert had dropped from four to three, Johnson said: ‘As the level of alert falls, that will allow us to start making some progress on our plan and with the social distancing measures, as I have said.
So when we move on to July 4, which is the next big stage in the plan, we hope that exceptionally, very soon there will be more guidance to help people, help businesses, help hospitality to prepare for that.’
The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) had previously advised that the two-metre distance be kept in place or that face-covering be used in scenarios that involve face-to-face contact where that distance has to be reduced. But with the infection rate decreasing, relaxed rules look increasingly likely to come into force to help pubs, restaurants and other aspects of the hospitality sector reopen. Many of London’s hospitality venues have admitted that they wouldn’t be able to operate under the current two-metre social-distancing rule.
Other places, like France and Hong Kong, have adopted a one-metre distance rule as they have come out of lockdown. The two-metre rule reduction is likely to include new guidance on face coverings, and other protection businesses should put in place to help contain the spread of the virus.
For pubs and restaurants where the use of face coverings is somewhat more complicated, it is said that the Government is discussing a system by which people leave their contact details with the establishments they visit for a drink or meal. A system that has already been adopted in parts of Australia and New Zealand – to allow speedier contact tracing when outbreaks of the virus happened.
The Prime Minister discusses the measures at a committee meeting today, which will be followed by an announcement to the public tomorrow – with new rules expected to come into play on July 4 as initially planned in the lockdown roadmap of the Government.
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