Boris Johnson expected to drop two-metre rule in England and allow cinemas and pubs to reopen
Boris Johnson is expected to announce that the two-metre rule aimed at halting the spread of coronavirus will be dropped in England in favour of a lesser social distancing restriction.
It is thought he will confirm on Tuesday that cinemas, pubs, museums and galleries in England will be allowed to reopen from 4 July.
And he is expected to spell out how restaurants and hairdressers, which have been shut since March, can all reopen on the same date.
Johnson will consult his top ministers on the plans in a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday morning before making a statement to the Commons at 12:30pm.
The UK Government has been under increasing pressure from Conservative backbenchers and those in the hospitality sector to rip up the two-metre rule in favour of looser restrictions that are closer to the one-metre minimum distancing guidance set out by the World Health Organization.
Some pub and restaurant chains have said they will not be able to profitably reopen with the current curbs in force, prompting Johnson to order a review that reported this week.
The UK Government is expected to come down in favour of a ‘one-metre-plus’ plan, which will insist people should remain two metres apart unless they are wearing a mask or if other mitigating measures, such as screens erected at tables, are in place.
Pubs could also take the names and details of customers upon entry to ensure they can be contacted if a case of the virus is reported among customers.
Meanwhile, The Times reports that the UK Government is to relax the UK’s requirement for all arrivals into the country, including returning Britons, to self-isolate for 14 days.
The move could pave the way for summer holidays abroad, with ministers said to be close to finalising a list of ten countries it is considered safe to travel to without the need for quarantine.
An announcement on the so-called ‘air bridges’ plan is expected before the start of next week.