The 2 metre social distancing rule will be reduced to 1 metre from July 4.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson made the announcement to Parliament today (June 23), saying a distance of one metre plus could be observed from July 4 with mitigating measures such as avoiding face to face seating, reducing the number of people in an enclosed space, increasing ventilation and the use of masks, screens and sanitisers.
The PM said: “This vital change enables the next stage of our plan to ease the lock down.”
The distancing will now be guidance rather than legislation relying on “the general public’s common sense.”
From July 4 two household of any size will now be able to meet up, indoors or outdoors. This does not have to be the same two households, meaning for instance one visit could be one set of grandparents and the next one, a different set of grandparents.
Families/groups can also stay overnight.
The July 4 date has also now been confirmed for the reopening of restaurants, pubs, hotels, bed and breakfast, campsites with overnight guests allowed as long as all shared facilities are kept clean and Covid secure measures are in place.
Hospitality trades will need to limit contact to table service and encourage minimal staff/customer contact.
Venues will also collect contact details that can be used for test and trace is needed.
Hairdressers can also reopen, using visors, but nail bars do not yet have the go-ahead.
The reopening date also applies to venues such as theme parks, cinemas, outdoor gyms, play areas, galleries, arcades and community centres.
But nightclubs, swimming pools, soft play areas, bowling alleys and indoor gyms must, f0or now, remain closed.
The PM said: “At every stage, caution will remain our watchword, and each step will be conditional and reversible.”
Primary and secondary education will resume in September with full attendance.
The PM added: “As we have seen in other countries, there will be flare-ups for which local measures will be needed and we will not hesitate to apply the brakes and re-introduce restrictions even at national level – if required.”