Pubs, restaurants and hairdressers in England will all open again for the first time in three months from July 4, Boris Johnson announced this afternoon.
All hospitality will be limited to table service. Hairdressers will need to use visors.
Hotels, campsites and caravan parks may also reopen from this date.
Theme parks, galleries, museums and social clubs can welcome back clientele “if they can do safely.”
Outdoor recreation and sport will also be allowed but indoor facilities (such as changing rooms) will remain closed for the time being.
Schools will fully reopen in September.
The announcement represents a significant step towards a full reopening of the UK economy and will come as relieving news for many businesses desperate to resume trading.
Meanwhile, the 2m social distancing guidelines are being reduced to 1m+ – matching the recommendations outlined by the World Health Organisation.
The reduction will enable businesses to serve higher numbers of customers whilst remaining COVID-compliant. The Government is set to publish further guidance on this matter.
From July 4, two households can also meet inside and outside – although mixing multiple households is discouraged.
Speaking in the House of Commons, the Prime Minister stated: “We have trusted in the common sense of the British people and their response has justified our faith.”
He added that “this pandemic has inflicted permanent scars,” but the Government does “not believe there is currently a second peak of infections to overwhelm the NHS.”
“Now we can safely go further and ease the lockdown in England.”
The PM emphasised the changes could be reverted depending on the COVID-19 data.
“The virus has not gone away,” he said.
“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 breaks and reintroduce restrictions even at national level if required.”