Yorkshirefolk, rejoice – because our beloved pubs are finally set to re-open, following an official statement from the Prime Minister this afternoon.
Announcing the news just this lunchtime, Boris Johnson has revealed that social spaces and leisure spots such as pubs, restaurants, cafes, hairdressers and museums will now be allowed to re-open on July 4th, in line with the government’s original lockdown easing plan which outlined specific dates for certain businesses.
Addressing the public and confirming that new cases were declining by 2-4% daily, Johnson said: “Thanks to our progress we can now go further and safely ease the lockdown in England. At every stage caution will remain our watchword, and each step will be conditional and reversible.”
Continuing: “We cannot lift all the restrictions at once, so we have to make difficult judgements. And every step is scrupulously weighed against the evidence.”
Two households will also be able to meet in any setting inside and out, meaning millions of families will finally be reunited after months apart. This will remain limited to two households only, with multiple households still required to meet outside only in groups of six.
Indoor hospitality will be limited to table service only – meaning that pubs, restaurants and cafes will no longer be able to provide counter service. Hairdressers will be permitted to re-open with the use of visors, however, other beauty businesses are still told to remain closed.
Hotels and B&Bs, as well as campsites, will be permitted to re-open, as long as shared facilities remain clean. Leisure facilities and tourist attractions such as outdoor gyms and cinemas will also be able to re-open permitted shared facilities are cared for with rigorous cleaning regimes. Gyms, water parks and nightclubs will be required to remain closed until further notice.
The two-metre social distancing rule will also be relaxed from the 4th July, being reduced down to 1 metre, which will allow pubs, restaurants and other hospitality businesses to welcome back more customers and operate more closely to what we’re used to.
The news that hotels can now re-open comes as a welcome one for our economy, with staycations set to boom this year as Brits await further details on international travel. Airlines are continuing to operate reduced services, slowly increasing these as the COVID-19 situation improves.
Elsewhere, Brits have been given the nod from tourism hotspots such as Spain, Italy, Portugal, Iceland, and Wales to visit, with no quarantine period required as countries attempt to rebuild their tourism sectors. Brits will, however, have to wait for the greenlight from the UK government to travel abroad for leisure.