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Confirmation of 4 July opening expected on Tuesday alongside distancing update

22 June 2020 by
Confirmation of 4 July opening expected on Tuesday alongside distancing update

Confirmation of a 4 July opening date for hospitality and the outcome of the review into two-metre distancing requirements are expected to be announced by the prime minister on Tuesday.

Boris Johnson is expected to give the green light for the government's roadmap for reopening the economy to move to the next stage after he came under mounting pressure from the industry last week.

The move, reported by Sky and the BBC, among others, will follow a fall in the Covid-19 alert level from four to three, which reflects the virus still being in general circulation, but allows for a gradual relaxation of restrictions.

A number 10 spokesperson has said an announcement on distancing is expected but warned "we will not hesitate to put the handbrake on to stop the virus running out of control".

The announcement followed the leaking of guidance, the publication of which is anticipated imminently, for how the hospitality industry can reopen in The Times.

The newspaper reported that pubs will be required to police social distancing, even in outdoor spaces, with table service becoming the norm.

All hospitality businesses will need to monitor capacity, but the much campaigned-for loosening of restrictions around al fresco dining is expected to see every restaurant, bar and pub able to use outdoor space.

Among the restrictions outlined on hotels were the leaving of luggage and room service outside rooms and a requirement to cordon off rooms for 72 hours following departure if a guest were to fall ill and need to self-isolate at the venue.

It has also been reported that chancellor Rishi Sunak could be poised to announced a cut in VAT to help provide a boost to businesses in the second half of 2020.

Photo: Shutterstock

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