Early July is set to see a new phase in Britain’s lockdown relaxation, with quite a few eateries and pubs allowed to reopen their doors to the party-thirsty public. Brits have been warned that social distancing and other precautions are by all means in place, and the possibility of local lockdowns is still there.
The easing of the coronavirus-induced lockdown in England is the “biggest step yet on the road to recovery”, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told a briefing, as thousands of businesses including pubs and restaurants are reopening on Saturday, 4 July.
Whatever the positive news, Boris Johnson argued that amid joy and striving for outings with friends and family, the public “must not let them down” by turning a deaf ear to social distancing rules. He went on stress that he would “not hesitate” to reimpose restrictions if the infection rates are again on the rise, as happened in Leicester, Weston-super-Mare, and Kirklees.
“The success of these businesses, the livelihoods of those who rely on them, and ultimately the economic health of the whole country is dependent on every single one of us acting responsibly”, the prime minister called.
Pubs have been told they must wait until 06:00 BST to reopen as a “precaution” to avoid midnight parties, with clients encouraged to book tables in advance. Live gigs and standing at the bar will continue to be banned, until the outbreaks are contained completely.
Alongside the easing of restrictions in the hospitality industry, social distancing rules will become more lax, from 2 metres to “one metre plus”, meaning citizens will be required to take additional precautions when coming into contact with people who are less than 2 metres away.
Johnson said “good progress” was being made towards reopening a slew of other businesses as well – such as gyms, night clubs, nail salons, etc., promising that a respective timetable will be announced next week.