Boris Johnson has set out major relaxations of the coronavirus lockdown to pave the way for other industries to reopen.
The Prime Minister said on Friday that it will be up to employers to discuss with workers whether it is safe to return to the office rather than working from home from August 1. Mr Johnson also detailed new measures to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
Here’s everything you need to know about what can reopen across England from August 1.
What can reopen from August 1?
- Bowling alleys
- Indoor performances with live audiences
- Leisure centres
- Skating rinks
- Trials beginning for sports stadiums
- Wedding receptions for up to 30 people
All of those listed above can reopen as long as they have measures in place to reduce Covid-19 transmission.
Pilots to reopen sports stadiums will include the World Snooker Championship in Sheffield from July 31 and the Glorious Goodwood horse racing festival from August 1.
What can’t reopen from August 1?
- Soft play areas
Those mentioned above will have to remain closed for the time being – no indication has been given so far as to when they will reopen.
Update on ‘local lockdowns’
In an attempt to prevent another nationwide shutdown, Mr Johnson said local authorities in England will have new powers from Saturday (July 18) to close specific premises, shut outdoor spaces and cancel events.
NHS ‘planning for second spike of Covid-19 this winter’
He also set out his plans to prepare the NHS for a potential second spike in Covid-19 cases coinciding with the flu season this winter, saying the nation must be “hoping for the best, but planning for the worst”.
Mr Johnson said that the Government will try to allow more close contact between loved ones “when we can”.
What else did the PM say?
Mr Johnson also immediately scrapped the advice to avoid public transport in England.
“It is my strong and sincere hope that we will be able to review the outstanding restrictions and allow a more significant return to normality from November, at the earliest, possibly in time for Christmas,” he added.
But the relaxation of the strict rules will bring the nation into a new normal, with mask-wearing and social distancing remaining essential parts of life.
The PM’s easing of the work-from-home guidance potentially pits him against his chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance – who earlier said there is “absolutely no reason” to change the advice.
But the PM told his Downing Street press conference: “It is not for government to decide how employers should run their companies and whether they want their workforces in the office or not – that is for companies.”