The Somerset Guardian, 24th June 2020

This week, the Prime Minister announced that even more freedoms would be reinstated as we enter week fourteen of lockdown.

In a statement to the Commons, Boris Johnson told Members of Parliament that from 4th July many businesses and sporting and social events can restart, made possible by the Government reducing social distancing to just over three feet or above whenever a six and a half feet distance cannot be observed. This is in line with the Covid-19 risk assessment system that has seen the level drop recently from four to three.

From the beginning of next month, the relaxing of the rules means that pubs, bars and restaurants will be able to open their doors as long as the guidelines are followed and the necessary precautions are implemented to mitigate against an increase in transmission rates, which continue to drop alongside cases of death. These will include customers having to give their contact details when they enter a pub or restaurant and changes made to the way in which goods are ordered and served.

In England, hotels, bed and breakfasts, holiday cottages, campsites and caravan parks will also be permitted to allow guests and two households of any size will be able to meet either indoors or outdoors with the option given for people to stay overnight.  In addition, libraries, community centres, cinemas, galleries and museums will be able to welcome visitors once more as will hairdressers and places of worship.

The announcement made by the Premier will undoubtedly come as a relief to many, especially those who work in or own businesses in the hospitality, leisure and tourism industries that have been struggling financially since mid-March when lockdown was first announced. I am delighted that the country is finally on the road to recovery taking one, cautious step at a time towards a new normal.

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