July 4 is being cited as ‘independence day’ by some, with it being the date that England is largely freed from lockdown regulations. Pubs, bars, restaurants and other services will be allowed to reopen – but with social distancing measures in place. But some are still barred from opening.
When announcing the latest slew of lifted restrictions, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “My duty, our duty as the Government, is to guide the British people, balancing our overriding aim of controlling the virus against our natural desire to bring back normal life.
“We cannot lift all the restrictions at once, so we have to make difficult judgments, and every step is scrupulously weighed against the evidence.
“Our principle is to trust the British public to use their common sense in the full knowledge of the risks, remembering that the more we open up, the more vigilant we will need to be.”
From July 4, the two-metre rule will be relaxed to one-metre plus, meaning that if you must come into contact with someone at a range of less than two metres, you should take necessary precautions such as wearing a face mask or visor.
Households will also be allowed to visit each other and socialise inside or outside, however, only members from one household at a time will be able to visit.
But, unlike the bubble system, people will have to maintain social distance – so family members who live apart will not be able to hug.
Weddings will also be allowed to take place again from July 4, but a maximum of 30 guests will be allowed and social distancing must also be observed.
The changes also include vast amounts of the economy being allowed to reopen, with pubs, bars, restaurants and hotels all permitted to trade again in early July.
Reopening these venues will be difficult to do until the virus has almost completely disappeared, as social distancing cannot be adhered to in these venues.
When tattoo and piercing shops are allowed to open their doors again, social distancing measures will have to be put in place – but exactly what this will look like is hard to tell.
This will include wearing the correct PPE and working at a safe distance if possible.
Workspaces will have to be frequently cleaned and utensils that are touched regularly disinfected.
Scientists have emphatically stressed that new guidelines must be adhered to in order to avoid a second wave of the deadly virus, which has already killed over 42,000 people in the UK, one of the worst death rates in the world.
Health leaders are calling for an urgent review to determine whether the UK is properly prepared for the “real risk” of a second wave of coronavirus.
In an open letter published in the British Medical Journal, ministers were warned urgent action would be needed to prevent further loss of life.
The presidents of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons, Nursing, Physicians, and GPs all signed the letter.
The Department of Health said it would continue to be guided by the latest scientific advice and would give the NHS “whatever it needs”