Boris Johnson announced the unwinding of the lockdown in England last night. Saying coronavirus had dwindled enough to make life easier. But ministers admit that the new rules are more complicated and people will have to use common sense to navigate the new normal. The government has issued guidance in an attempt to clear up some of the more puzzling aspects of the arrangements. The overhaul announced by the PM yesterday does not come into effect until July 4. Meaning there is now nearly two weeks in which the public must ignore them and stick to the old rules. It will also only apply in England for now. Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland control their own lockdowns and have different guidance. Nicola Sturgeon has insisted the two-meter rule will stay in force north of the border for now.
Essentially, two households will allow to meet up in any location – public or private. Indoors or outdoors. And they will get a permit to stay overnight at each other’s homes or together in hotels, holiday cottages and campsites. That means dinner parties are back on the agenda, as well as pub lunches. It benefits larger families, who were before much more constrained as the total size of gatherings could not be more than six people. But only two families can involve, and they must maintain social distancing.
From July 4 in England, pubs, restaurants, hair salons, and many other businesses will be allowed to reopen – provided they can do so in a way that is COVID-secure, keeping customers and staff safe. pic.twitter.com/L9ZqCZCnBP
The rules are not exclusive, meaning you can meet up with one household, and then separately with another household. The government is allowing pubs, restaurants, bars, cinemas, campsites, theme parks. Museums, and art galleries to open. So there will be more scope for people to enjoy the new freedoms.
Within the limits staying overnight away from your main home allowed from July 4, meaning you can go to hotels and bed and breakfasts, or go to any second property you own. The Foreign Office still advises against all non-essential travel abroad, so insurance for going away is likely to be a problem.
The 14-day quarantine on all arrivals to the UK will continue to apply. Although the government is due to announce air bridges to low-infection countries such as Spain, France, Italy, and Turkey.