1. Recent Government advice/action
Lockdown easing – Further changes to lockdown measures in England have been announced to enable people to see more of their friends and family, help businesses get back on their feet and get people back in their jobs.
From Saturday 4 July, pubs, restaurants and hairdressers will be able to reopen, providing they adhere to COVID Secure guidelines. From the same date, two households will be able to meet up in any setting with social distancing measures, and people will be able to enjoy staycations in England with the reopening of accommodation sites.
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.
Following a review, the Government has also said that where it is not possible to stay two metres apart, guidance will allow people to keep a social distance of ‘one metre plus’. This means staying one metre apart, plus mitigations which reduce the risk of transmission.
To reduce the risk of transmission, ‘close proximity’ venues such as nightclubs, soft-play areas, indoor gyms, swimming pools, water parks, bowling alleys and spas will need to remain closed for the time being.
The latest government and Health information and advice can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus.
Other Government updates:
Tourism – Guidance on Tourism and the Visitor Economy, published today, will help to get the tourism sector back up and running so the public can safely take domestic holidays and visit attractions on days out
Housing – Interim housing for thousands of rough sleepers taken off the streets during the pandemic is to be provided. The additional £105 million will be used to support rough sleepers and those at risk of homelessness into tenancies of their own, including through help with deposits for accommodation, and securing thousands of alternative rooms already available and ready for use, such as student accommodation.
Shielding – Millions of people shielding from coronavirus (COVID-19) have been advised they will soon be able to spend more time outside their homes. From Monday 6 July, those shielding from Coronavirus will be able to gather in groups of up to 6 people outdoors and form a ‘support bubble’ with another household. From Saturday 1 August, the guidance will then be relaxed so clinically extremely vulnerable people will no longer be advised to shield, but support will remain available from NHS volunteers and local councils. (See section 3B of this briefing for more detail).
Construction – New measures to help the construction industry boost building and a return to work safely will be introduced this week. Planning permission deadlines will be extended, planning appeals will be sped up and builders will be allowed more flexible working hours following agreement with their local council.