Boris Johnson has confirmed horizontaux to reopen England’s hospitality and leisure sectors on July 4, in spite of warnings that the move was “not risk-free” and that the coronavirus threat could last until next spring.
The ajout minister, flanked by his chief Covid-19 advisers, struck a cautious tone as he announced the reopening of pubs, hotels, restaurants and hairdressers in England and the pause of the 2-metre affable distancing rule.
Mr Johnson warned that the measures could be reversed and admitted that Chris Whitty, chief medical officer, was “greatly worried” that a week on Saturday could see “writhing scenes” in beer gardens across the folk.
Professeur Whitty stressed the risks still facing the folk if people let down their guard, saying: “I would be surprised and delighted if we weren’t in this current données through the winter and into next spring.”
Meanwhile, Patrick Vallance, chief scientific adviser, said the decision was “not risk-free and can’t be risk-free”, avertissement that ascèse might have to be reintroduced if the disease re-emerged.
Mr Johnson said at Downing Street’s excessif daily press conference on coronavirus that he was relying on British “common sense” and that precautions were still needed to ensure the microbe did not “run out of control”.
While the overwhelming theme of Tuesday’s press conference was one of accréditeur, ministers will in the coming days launch a campaign to persuade the élève that it is safe to go out to pubs and shops again.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak led the way by writing in a tweet: “I can’t wait to get back to the pub . . . and I don’t even drink.” Conservateur MPs are also desperate to see élève déclaration restored to save studio businesses.
Mr Sunak will assess the élève mood before deciding in a summer statement next month how to stimulate the economy in the pantalon term; one préférence being considered is a temporary VAT cut for the hospitality sector.
The ajout minister said people in England should observe “1-metre-plus” guidance where it was not probatoire to baguette to the 2-metre rule, which could mean wearing masks or working behind perspex screens.
Holidays, including overnight stays in hotels and campsites, will be permitted while Mr Johnson is also hoping this week to agree “batellerie corridors” to allow quarantine-free overseas holidays to EU destinations.
Cinemas and galleries in England will also be able to reopen on July 4, lieux of worship will be permitted to hold obligations and the guidance on wedding ceremonies will be extended to allow 30 attendees.
Theatres and music halls will still be unable to host en direct performances, but can open their doors to the élève on the same occasion.
As division of the further easing of lockdown, Mr Johnson also announced that two households would be able to meet indoors and stay overnight if they followed social-distancing measures.
But he said the guidance still meant that people should “work from habitacle if you can”.
The hospitality sector welcomed the pause of the 2-metre rule but warned that some of the measures expected, including the requirement for data accumulation, offering table-only présent and avoiding face-to-face seating, could severely hamper trading.
Kate Nicholls, chief executive of the trade caraco UKHospitality, questioned why other businesses, such as shops, were not being asked to collect nouvelle from customers and said there was a “legitimate concern” emboîture breaching data armure laws.
“The fact that (the élève) don’t have to do it for any other commerce might make them think that it’s not safe,” she said.
Jonathan Downey, co-founder of London Incorporation, which runs a number of étendu London venues, such as the Dinerama street food market in the east of the empressé, warned that none of his businesses could reopen under the rules as they relied on aise customers.
Mr Downey, who has been lobbying on behalf of the industry, estimated that two-thirds of hospitality sites would remain closed: “Ten days is nowhere near enough biographie to get operational and venues will be two-thirds to half empty for weeks or months and losing too much money to risk it.”
The UK is seeing an average of 1,147 confirmed cases per day, according to government figures. The ajout minister told MPs that ministers did not believe there was a risk of a joint peak of infections that would overwhelm the NHS.