The UK is slowly easing its way out of coronavirus lockdown measures, which have also seen us all required to ‘socially distance’ ourselves from others – keeping two metres apart from those outside our own household in a bid to curb the spread of the virus.
However, Boris Johnson announced in the Commons earlier this week that the two-metre rule is set to be scrapped in favour of what is known as ‘one-metre plus’.
Just what are the new guidelines, where will they be applicable – and when will they come into force?
Here’s what you need to know…
The ‘one-metre plus’ rule in England will allow people to keep a distance of one metre, rather than two metres, from others, as long as they take other measures to keep themselves safe .
This includes wearing a face mask on public transport, hand washing, screens, limiting time with people and being outdoors.
Announcing the changes, Boris Johnson said: ‘Where it is possible to keep two metres apart you should, where it is not, people should keep a distance of one metre plus.’
The one-metre plus rule has been introduced in a bid to help the economy ease its way out of lockdown, as pubs and restaurants gear up for re-opening – with landlords having previously warned that a two-metre distancing rule would make their businesses ‘unsustainable’.
It will also enable businesses such as hairdressers – which require close contact with customers – to re-open, as well as schools to potentially restart in September with full classes.
The change is set to come in from next Saturday, 4 July.
This is also the same date that pubs, restaurants and hairdressers have been told they can re-open, as well as hotels, bed and breakfasts and camp sites.
Mr Johnson warned that the easing of restrictions were conditional and could be reversed if the virus started to flare up again.
He said: ‘Our long national hibernation is coming to an end and life is returning to the streets. But it would be all too easy for that frost to return.’
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