Government revises social distancing rule to one metre

Social distancing signs are in place throughout London's West End

Prime minister Boris Johnson has announced the two metre social distancing rule will be relaxed to one-metre in England from 4 July. 

In England, the distancing advice from 4 July will be that people should remain at least one metre apart, opting for two metres if possible.

The Prime Minister has announced that pubs, restaurants and hairdressers will be able to reopen, providing they adhere to COVID Secure guidelines.

In order to begin restoring the arts and cultural sector, some leisure facilities and tourist attractions may also reopen, if they can do so safely – this includes outdoor gyms and playgrounds, cinemas, museums, galleries, theme parks and arcades, as well as libraries, social clubs, places of worship and community centres.

Indoors facilities, including gyms, bowling alleys, beauty salons and nail spas will have to remain closed.

UK footfall rose by 45% from Monday 15 June to Sunday 21 June 2020, compared to the previous week as non-essential stores had their first full week back trading again.

Footfall rose on UK high streets by 47.5%, and footfall in shopping centres was up 45%, whereas the increase in footfall in retail parks was up by just 27.1%. However, that reflects the fact that retail parks had already recorded increases in footfall over the preceding weeks, as they had food stores and home stores already trading.

The new one metre rule has not been confirmed by any retailers or shopping centres at this time, but is expected to be used more in smaller retail environments or as public confidence rises.

While the infection rate continues to fall, the Prime Minister has been clear that the public must continue to follow social distancing guidelines to keep coronavirus under control.

The Government will keep all measures under constant review and will not hesitate to apply the handbrake, or reverse measures, should the virus begin to run out of control.