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.

Go deeper: U.K. researchers say they've found life-saving coronavirus drug

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Updated Jul 3, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

England announced on Friday it is dropping its mandatory 14-day quarantine for visitors from more than 50 countries, but for the U.S., which has seen coronavirus cases increase sharply.

The big picture: The European Union also extended its ban on travelers from the U.S. and other countries that don't have infections under control like Russia and Brazil.

Updated 13 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 11,143,945 — Total deaths: 527,681 — Total recoveries — 6,004,593Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 2,818,588 — Total deaths: 129,584 — Total recoveries: 883,561 — Total tested: 34,213,497Map.
  3. States: Photos of America's pandemic July 4 ICU beds in Arizona's hot spot reach near capacity.
  4. Public health: U.S. coronavirus infections hit record highs for 3 straight days.
  5. Politics: Trump extends PPP application deadlineKimberly Guilfoyle tests positive.
  6. World: Mexican leaders call for tighter border control as infections rise in U.S.
  7. Sports: 31 MLB players test positive as workouts resume.
  8. 1 📽 thing: Drive-in movie theaters are making a comeback.
38 mins ago - Health

In photos: America celebrates July 4 during global pandemic

Photo: Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images

The U.S. has already celebrated Easter, graduations and so much more during the coronavirus pandemic, and now it can add July 4 to the list.

The state of play: Axios' Stef Kight writes public parades and fireworks displays around much of the country are being canceled to prevent mass gatherings where the virus could spread. Hot-dog contests and concerts will play to empty stands and virtual audiences — all while American pride treads an all-time low.