The British Prime Minister is to set out plans to allow pubs, restaurants, museums and cinemas to begin reopening in the latest easing of the coronavirus lockdown in England.
Boris Johnson is publishing the Government’s keenly-awaited review of the two-metre social-distancing rule on Tuesday, amid widespread expectations it will be cut to one metre.
He will brief his Cabinet on the proposals – due to take effect from July 4 – before setting out details in a statement in the House of Commons.
The move follows intense pressure from some Conservative MPs who have said easing the two-metre requirement is key to reopening the hard pressed hospitality sector.
Many pubs and restaurants have warned that it would simply not be viable for them to operate as long as the rule remains in place.
Some scientists have, however, expressed concern the Government is moving too quickly, and that its track-and-trace system to contain any fresh outbreaks is not fully up and running.
Lucy Yardley, professor of health psychology at the University of Bristol and a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), told BBC Newsnight there was a “danger” that some people thought lockdown had ended.
Professor Yardley said “you could argue that we were never so much listening to the Government as doing what we thought was right at the right time” and added it “would be much harder” to impose lockdown for a second time.
The review of the two-metre rule drew on advice from economists as well as medical and scientific experts.