But publicans must comply with a strict set of social distancing rules, including the decree that customers must be served only at their tables and that their contact details must be taken in advance.
Speaking in the House of Commons on Tuesday, Johnson said the country had managed to slow the virus down to a level where life could begin to return to the streets. Restaurants, beauty salons, museums and cinemas would be allowed to reopen.
“Today we can say that our long national hibernation is beginning to end and life is beginning to return to our streets and our stores,” he said.
Johnson could reopen all hospitality companies, Johnson said, subject to a guideline that would encourage limited contact between staff and customers. Johnson announced that beauty salons could be opened with proper precautions, such as the use of visors. To facilitate the reopening, England’s 2-meter social distance limit would be reduced to 1 meter if other mitigation measures were implemented, such as face masks, visors, or protective screens.
Also beginning July 4, two homes of any size could now meet “anywhere inside or outside,” while maintaining social distance, Johnson said. Current rules only allow groups of up to six people to meet outside.
Johnson acknowledged that the other nations in the United Kingdom, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland would adopt their own approach, but said they were all seeing a similar trend in their coronavirus cases. He also emphasized that the new measures would not be applied by legislation, but would be introduced as guidance. He called for “the British public to use their common sense in full knowledge of the risk.”
Other amenities can be reopened as long as they are “safe for Covid,” including hotels and other forms of accommodation, places of worship, libraries, community centers, outdoor playgrounds and outdoor gyms, and leisure centers and social clubs .
The UK has the highest number of confirmed coronavirus deaths in Europe, totaling more than 42,000. The Johnson government has been criticized for a delay in its response to the virus, confusing messages and for taking a relatively relaxed approach to the country’s outbreak.