Jun 23, 2020 - World

Pubs and restaurants in England to reopen as coronavirus lockdown eases

People walking past a social distancing sign on June 22 in London.

People walking past a social distancing sign in London. Photo: Mike Kemp/In PIctures via Getty Images

Pubs, restaurants and other businesses in England can resume business on July 4 after U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that it would move to the third stage of its coronavirus reopening plan, per the BBC.

Why it matters: The U.K. government also reduced its two-meter social-distancing rule in England and will instead introduce a "one meter plus" rule as the lockdown eases.

  • Johnson, who contracted the virus in March, said people should try to remain two meters apart when possible.
  • The loosened restrictions will not yet apply to Scotland or Wales.

Between the lines: The government did away with the two-meter rule in part because the hospitality industry warned that keeping customers that distance apart would be impossible for many businesses, Politico reports.

What they're saying: Johnson said people are encouraged to use "mitigation" tactics, such as face coverings and not sitting face-to-face, when within two meters.

  • "Our principle is to trust the British public to use their common sense in the full knowledge of the risks, remembering the more we open up, the more vigilant we need to be," he said.

By the numbers: The U.K. has reported more than 306,oo0 cases and 42,731 deaths from coronavirus as of Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

  • The country is reporting 1,000 new cases a day on average, well below the estimated 100,000 at its peak at the end of March.

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