By Mark T Connor • 23 June 2020 • 14:01
HOUSEHOLDS will be able to host visitors in their home, including overnight, and to meet with members of different households, on different occasions – including in a restaurant or hotel, for example.
The two-metre rule has been central to the government’s battle against the spread of Covid-19 – but with infections declining, the cabinet has rubber-stamped new, less stringent guidance.
A ‘one-metre-plus’ approach will mean members of the public can be one- metre away from each other as long as other measures are put in place to limit the transmission of the virus.
These include wearing a face covering, installing screens, making sure people face away from each other, and providing extra hand washing facilities.
The changes to how many people or households can meet come as a swath of venues in England will be allowed to reopen from July 4, including hotels, campsites, hairdressers and churches.
All of these venues will be expected to collect and keep the contact details of visitors, so they can be traced in the event of a fresh local outbreak of the virus.
Theatres and concert halls will be also be able to reopen – but they cannot host live performances, because of concerns including the risk that singing transmits the virus.
Detailed guidance for different sectors is expected to be published later on Tuesday.
Downing Street has made clear it is prepared to reverse these ‘easements,’ if the virus takes off again. The decision on the two-metre rule was taken after a review carried out by the No 10 permanent secretary, Simon Case.
Johnson was under intense pressure to relax the rule from Conservative backbenchers and businesses who warned they would be uneconomic with the two-metre rule in place. Government officials stress it remains safer to stay two metres apart.
The prime minister will flesh out the new regime at Tuesday’s Downing Street press briefing, where he is expected to be accompanied by the chief medical officer for England, Prof Chris Whitty, and the UK’s chief scientific adviser, Patrick Vallance. Both men sat on the panel reviewing the two-metre rules.
Share this story
Subscribe to our Euro Weekly News alerts to get the latest stories into your inbox!
By signing up, you will create a Euro Weekly News account if you donâ€™t already have one. Review our
Share your story with us by emailing email@example.com, by calling +34 951 38 61 61 or by messaging our Facebook page www.facebook.com/EuroWeeklyNews
Download our media pack in either English or Spanish.