Prime Minister announces reopening of pubs and restaurants from 4th July
In an address to the House of Commons this afternoon the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced further relaxation of the restrictions which have been in force since 21st March.
From 4th July pubs and restaurants will be able to reopen and overnight stays at self-contained accommodation (i.e. hotels and guests houses) will no longer be restricted to key workers or those on business.
A number of premises including Nightclubs and indoor gyms will have to remain closed. Working groups will be established by the Government to explore the re-opening of these premises in the future although no time line was committed to in this regard
Pubs and restaurants will be restricted to table service and encouraged to take a number of measures to mitigate potential transmission of COVID. The industry will be pleased to hear that, with proper mitigation (which will be outlined in separate guidance) that social distancing can be reduced to 1m (from 2m).
As well as the mitigation measures, premises will be required to collect details of customers to assist with ‘track and trace’ efforts should outbreaks occurred.
These relaxations are an important step but, as the Prime Minister pointed out, does not mean that the virus is no longer a threat (it is classified to be still in general circulation) and these relaxations could be reversed if necessary.