New lockdown rules: Government advice

On Tuesday 23 June the government announced a further easing of the lockdown measures in England from Saturday 4 July.

The 2 metre social distancing rule will be replaced with a 1 metre rule, allowing pubs, restaurants and hairdressers to open safely – providing they adhere to COVID Secure guidelines.

In summary, the new rules from 4 July are:

  • two households will be able to meet up in any setting with social distancing measures, and people can now enjoy staycations in England with the reopening of accommodation sites.
  • In order to begin restoring the arts and cultural sector, some leisure facilities and tourist attractions may also reopen, if they can do so safely – this includes outdoor gyms and playgrounds, cinemas, museums, galleries, theme parks and arcades, as well as libraries, social clubs, places of worship and community centres.
  • Following a review, where it is not possible to stay two metres apart, guidance will allow people to keep a social distance of ‘one metre plus’. This means staying one metre apart, plus mitigations which reduce the risk of transmission.

The Government also updated their Guidance on shielding & protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable

Measures Remaining in Place

There are still concerns over the risk of transmission in “close proximity” venues such as nightclubs, soft-play areas, indoor gyms, swimming pools, water parks, bowling alleys and spas and these venues will need to remain closed for now.

The Government is continuing to work with these sectors to establish taskforces to help them to become COVID Secure and reopen as soon as possible.

While the infection rate continues to fall, the Prime Minister has been clear that the public must continue to follow social distancing guidelines to keep coronavirus under control. The Government will keep all measures under constant review and will not hesitate to apply the handbrake, or reverse measures, should the virus begin to run out of control.

These changes apply in England only.