Boris Johnson confirms pubs in England can open with '1m+' social distancing on July 4

23 June 2020, 12:52 | Updated: 23 June 2020, 13:03

The Prime Minister today announced the new rules that pubs must follow when they reopen next month.

Boris Johnson has confirmed that pubs in England will be able to reopen from July 4 with a 'one-metre+' social distancing rule.

Speaking in the House of Commons today, he said that the two-metre social distancing rule will be reduced to from that date, saying: "Given the significant fall in the prevalence of the virus we can change the two metre social distancing rule from 4 July."

Mr Johnson acknowledged that the two-metre rule 'prevents all but a fraction of hospitality from operating', and added that he asked experts to stage a review of the guideline two weeks ago.

Boris Johnson announced further easing of lockdown in England today
Boris Johnson announced further easing of lockdown in England today. Picture: PA

He said that, from July 4, "where it is possible to keep two metres apart, people should. But where it is not, we will advise people to keep a distance of 1 metre plus."

The Prime Minister said that from that date: "We will also reopen restaurants and pubs. All hospitality indoors will be limited to table service, and our guidance will encourage minimal staff and customer contact."

He said that pubs and restaurants will have to collect contact details from customers on arrival, adding: "We will work with the sector to make this manageable."

Hairdressers will also be allowed to open from this time, as long as they stick to 'appropriate measures' such as staff wearing visors.

Read more: Staycations can be booked from today as English hotels and B&Bs to reopen on July 4

Pubs were forced to close their doors in mid-March, shortly before the UK was put into lockdown to help slow the spread of coronavirus.

Pubs will be allowed to open on July 4 (stock image)
Pubs will be allowed to open on July 4 (stock image). Picture: Getty

Britain is one of only two countries in Europe to currently be following a two-metre social distance guideline - the other being Spain - and this announcement comes after Mr Johnson previously spoke of his hope to relax it.

Read more: Two million people 'shielding' in England will soon be able to visit family and friends, government announces

He recently told MPs: "My own hope is that as we make progress in getting the virus down, in reducing the incidence, that we will be able to reduce that distance, which I think will be particularly valuable in transport and clearly the hospitality sector."

Pubs across the UK have been closed since mid-March
Pubs across the UK have been closed since mid-March. Picture: PA

Currently, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends one metre.

The UK was put in lockdown on 23 March, and Boris Johnson announced his 'road-map' to slowly easing measures in England on 10 May.

He said that, to save lives, "we must acknowledge that life will be different, at least for the foreseeable future".

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