Please Note: All information correct at time of writing on 24 June 2020. We do our very best to make sure our information is as up to date as possible, but we’d encourage you to check out our latest articles and to check the government website for updates as they happen.
On Tuesday 23 June, Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed Parliament on the next phase of his plan to move out of lockdown in England. This included a number of sweeping measures that will see more businesses being given the green light to open, as well as changes to social distancing rules.
We’ve summarised the key changes that will affect business owners in England below.
From 4 July the two-metre social distancing rule will be reduced. Where it's possible to keep two metres apart, people should maintain this distance. Where it's not, people should keep ‘one metre plus’ apart meaning that people should remain at least one metre apart whilst taking measures to mitigate the risk of transmission. Scientific experts have advised that one metre plus distancing would make the risk of transmission broadly equivalent to that of two-metre distancing.
The government published guidance yesterday on how businesses can take steps to protect workers and customers. There are many suggested measures, and these include:
Not all businesses can reopen at once and therefore difficult decisions have had to be made (we've included a full list of affected sectors at the bottom of this article). For sectors which have not been allowed to reopen yet, the government is putting taskforces together to work on getting guidance out on how they can reopen safely.
From this point, the government are asking people to follow ‘guidance on social contact’ rather than legislation. In that spirit, the advice is that from 4 July, two households of any size should be able to meet in any setting-indoors or outdoors (and this includes staying overnight). It does not have to be the two same households all the time, but the government is not recommending the meeting of multiple households indoors at the same time (but outdoors the guidance is still meeting in groups of up to 6 people). The guidance continues to be that we should all maintain social distance from anyone outside our household.
Restaurants and pubs will be able to reopen from 4 July. All hospitality indoors will be limited to table service and government guidance will be to encourage minimal staff and customer contact. Establishments will have to ask customers for contact details to assist Test and Trace in the event of local outbreaks. The government will work with the sector to make this ‘manageable’. From 4 July, providing no more than 2 households stay together, they can stay overnight in self-contained accommodation including hotels, bed and breakfasts and campsites as long as shared facilities are kept clean.
Hairdressers will also be able to reopen from the 4 July with appropriate precautions including the use of visors. Other close contact services (such as nail bars) will be able to reopen when the government is confident they can operate in a COVID secure way.
Yesterday evening also saw the last of the daily press briefings, held by the Prime Minister, who was once again accompanied by the Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty and the Chief Scientific Advisor Sir Patrick Vallance.
Below we’ve included the list of businesses that have been given the green light to reopen in England from 4 July, along with those which are still unable to reopen yet.
These are challenging times, especially for employees, business owners and employers. Our team of HR and Health & Safety experts provide you with the latest government news to help you work through this transitional period.
If you’re not yet a client of ours and you want the advice and backing of a team of HR, Employment Law and Health & Safety experts feel free to give our team a call on 0345 844 1111 to talk through your business needs. Or, simply fill out your details in the form opposite and we’ll be in touch as soon as possible.
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