UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to announce on Tuesday his new plans for the coronavirus lockdown, among which are the reopening of the hospitality sector and the reduction of two-metre social distancing rule.
ITV.com reported on Monday that Johnson will sit with chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance and chief medical officer for England Chris Witty to discuss the next phases and the road to recovery plans.
The prime minister will then meet his Cabinet members on Tuesday and outline his proposals for businesses belonging in the pub, restaurant, hotel, and saloon industry.
ITV said detailed guidelines will be announced for each business sector to reduce the spread of the virus and ensure that the companies are “COVID-secure.”
The two-metre social distancing rule was also expected to be reduced to only one metre but the use of mask and physical screens was seen a requirement.
Changes to the coronavirus lockdown restrictions were expected to take effect on July 4 and will mark as the third phase of the confinement rules.
The relaxation of rules will be the first to be reversed should the virus outbreak continued to increase, according to the report.
“The reason we are able to move forward this week is because the vast majority of people have taken steps to contain the virus,” A No 10 spokesman was quoted as saying.
“The more we open up, the more important it is that everyone follows the social-distancing rules. We will not hesitate to put the handbrake on to stop the virus running out of control,” the source added.
Johnson said over the weekend that the UK government’s efforts to curb the outbreak made progress and has made it possible for more businesses to open up.
“The disease is increasingly under control and I just want people to reflect on that important fact,” he said in a Downing Street interview.
In a separate statement, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that England was on track to further ease the lockdown restrictions after July 4.
Acknowledging that many people need a haircut, the Health Secretary said that he will not rule out any plans for hair salons and barbershops to reopen.
England-aside, other nations in the UK have yet to announce changes to their two-metre guidance but both Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and her counterpart in Northern Ireland, Arlene Foster, are considering a reduction.