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New government measures starting Saturday 4 July

Yesterday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a series of new measures towards easing the lockdown in England. There are also important plans in place for people who have been shielding. We’ve broken down what the new guidance means for you.

When does the new guidance come into effect?

Measures about distancing guidelines, meeting other households, and businesses reopening do not come into effect until Saturday 4 July. Until then, current government guidance remains the same.

For people who have been shielding, new guidance will come into effect from Monday 6 July. We’ll be covering that in more depth next week, but we have summarised the changes below.

Are the distancing guidelines changing?

Yes, the 2 metre distancing guidance will change. People should now keep a distance of ‘one metre plus’ – which means staying one metre apart, while observing precautions to reduce the risk of transmission.

However, although the required distance between people is reduced, you are asked to maintain the 2 metre distance wherever possible.

Can we now meet other households?

In a significant change to current guidance, two households of any size will be able to meet indoors or outside – regardless of size. However, the two households would have to maintain social distancing - unless they were part of the same support bubble.

It will also be possible to stay overnight in another home – so long as social distancing is maintained.

Socially distanced visits to other households will not be subject to ‘exclusivity’ as per support bubbles. Instead, it will be possible to meet one set of parents one weekend, and another set of parents the following weekend.

It is important to note that the government does not recommend meetings of more than two households indoors because of the risk of infection. Also, this change does not apply to people who have been shielding from COVID-19 (more on that below).

If you do want to gather people from multiple households, you can do so outdoors in groups of up to six.

What does this mean for people who have been shielding?

If you have been shielding due to COVID-19, from Monday 6 July you will see relaxed lockdown guidance.

From that date, you can gather in groups of up to six people outdoors, and form a ‘support bubble’ with another household.

The Government shielding support package will remain in place until the end of July, when it is expected that all shielding guidance will be relaxed.

Which businesses will be reopening?

Restaurants and pubs will be allowed to reopen, providing they follow safety guidelines.

Indoor hospitality will be table service only, with limited contact between staff and customers. You also will have to provide contact details if you enter a pub or restaurant.

Holiday accommodation, such as hotels, campsites and caravan parks, will also be able to reopen.

Hairdressers will be able to reopen, as long as they take precautions. Other close-contact services such as nail bars will not yet open.

A number of other places will be able to open too, if they can do so safely. These include; libraries, community centres, bingo halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, funfairs and theme parks, amusement arcades, outdoor skating rinks, social clubs, model villages, outdoor gyms and children’s playgrounds.

Places of worship will be able to open for prayers and services, including weddings with up to 30 guests.

All of the above plans to reopen businesses are subject to social distancing.

Remember, it is important to remember to stay alert, wash your hands regularly, and take precautions to keep yourself safe and reduce the spread of the virus.

What will remain closed?

Indoor gyms, nightclubs, theatres, casinos, bowling alleys, spas, swimming pools and soft play centres will remain closed until further notice.

The website has updated FAQs on what you can and can't do until Saturday 4 July.

We will continue to update you on the latest government advice on COVID-19, but do check the website in the first instance for the most up-to-date information. The NHS website has detailed information on symptoms and what to do if you or someone in your household shows signs of COVID-19 symptoms.

24th June 2020