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PM Announces Additional Relaxation of Lockdown Measures

PM Announces Additional Relaxation Of Lockdown Measures
23rd June 2020
 

Boris Johnson has just announced additional easing of the lockdown in England, including changes to the two-metre social distancing rule.

In Parliament today, it was announced that the new “one metre plus” rule will come into action from 4 July 2020, where if keeping two metres apart is not possible, one metre will suffice along with other mitigating measures to minimise the risk of spreading the virus. 

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics on 16 June 2020 confirmed that there had been 59,252 excess deaths from COVID-19 in England and Wales between 21 March and 12 June. Added to figures from Northern Ireland and Scotland, the total number of excess deaths in the UK across this period now stands at 65,101, as reported by the BBC.

However, today Johnson confirmed that the number of new infections is now declining by between 2 and 4 per cent every day, and that now is the time to begin additional relaxation to the lockdown measures. 

The PM commented that "at every stage, caution will remain our watch word. Each step will be conditional and reversible."

Other measures being relaxed from 4 July are as follows:

 

  • People will be permitted to meet with one other household indoors, subject to social distancing
  • Pubs and restaurants will be allowed to open, subject to safety guidelines
  • Hotels, B&Bs, caravan parks and campsites may open
  • Hair salons and barbers may open, if visors are worn
  • Areas such as playgrounds, libraries, museums, galleries, theme parks, outdoor gyms and arcades may also open

 

The Prime Minister noted that nightclubs, spas, indoor soft play areas, bowling alleys, water parks, indoor gyms, nail bars, swimming pools and water parks will remain closed at this stage

 

Workplaces and the "One Metre Plus" Rule

 

"We’re lucky; we have an office big enough to accommodate the two-metre social distancing guidelines comfortably. However, we know that many of our clients don’t have the space to spread employees out in this way. Hopefully, the introduction of “one metre plus” will allow many more businesses to get back to work." 

–David English

Managing Director, AJ Products UK

 

David English of AJ Products, a supplier of office furniture, feels fortunate that when he reopens his offices, the two-metre rule won't be a problem"

"We’re lucky; we have an office big enough to accommodate the two-metre social distancing guidelines comfortably," he said. 

"However, we know that many of our clients don’t have the space to spread employees out in this way. Hopefully, the introduction of 'one metre plus' will allow many more businesses to get back to work.

"Where the office doesn’t allow for the furniture to be rearranged, we’ll be recommending that our clients fit desk screens to workstations to provide a physical barrier between employees. Screens can be fitted to both the back and sides of the desk to prevent germs from spreading so easily.

"We’re also recommending that large open plan offices are segregated into smaller work areas using floor screens to create temporary walls between banks of desks as well as thoroughfares. By reducing contact between staff, changes like this will help keep the workplace safe and hygienic."

Picture: Photograph of Boris Johnson in Parliament. Image Credit: BBC

Article written by Ella Tansley – published 23rd June 2020

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