Boris ends lockdown by slashing 2m rule, allowing overnight stays and reopening pubs on July 4


BORIS Johnson today dramatically announced the end of most of the lockdown measures in England – slashing the 2m rule, allowing sleepovers and reopening pubs on July 4.

The PM has told the nation today that the country will be open for business once again from July 4, with a whole raft of new freedoms for people to enjoy.

Boris has announced he will cut down the 2m rule to 1 metre plus

Hotels, pubs, libraries, hairdressers and even caravan sites will be able to open from next month – but you can only use them with one other household.

But gyms, spas and nightclubs will remain shut as they still pose too much of a risk.

In a major update today, Boris announced:

  • He was slashing the 2m rule down to ‘1m plus’
  • Staycations from July 4 got the green light as hotels and bed and breakfasts were told they could reopen
  • Pubs will also reopen from July 4 – but only one household can go inside with another and new measures will be in place
  • After three long months Brits will finally be able to get a haircut
  • But nail salons, gyms and nightclubs will remain closed for now
  • People will be allowed to see one other household inside – but they must still keep their distance
  • And sleepovers are finally allowed from July 4
  • Full list of all businesses allowed to reopen

The PM delivered the much-needed dose of good news a day after Britain recorded the lowest daily death toll since mid-March, with just 15 deaths recorded on Sunday. 

And the number of new cases dropped to below 1,000 for the first time since lockdown began on March 23. 

Government figures revealed just 958 new cases were diagnosed on Sunday, although weekend statistics are often lower at the weekend. 

The 2m rule has been reduced

2m rule to be reduced to 1m

After a review ordered by the PM, he said today that the 2m rule will be cut down to 1m plus.

One metre plus means anyone who wants to get down to below 2m will have to take extra precautions – such as using a perspex screen, wearing a mask, or being outdoors to reduce the risk.

Boris told the Commons: “Given the significant fall in the prevalences of the virus we can change the 2m social distance rule from 4th of July

“I know this rule makes it impossible for other parts of the economy.”

The news will be a sigh of relief to the hospitality industry, who have long warned they won’t be able to survive with people having to stay 2m apart, and thus having fewer people in their venues.

Pubs, cafes and restaurants open

Boris also confirmed that all pubs, restaurants and cafes can open again from July 4 – in a major boost for the nation’s morale. 

But they will be very different when they do return.

This will include requiring people to wear masks, perspex screens on tables, alternative seating arrangements and punters at pubs and bars could have to sign a guest book with their contact details on arrival so they can be traced if there is an outbreak of the virus. 

And the Government will be introducing a new law this week to allow them to serve drinks outdoors in a major shake-up of licensing laws to help businesses through the coronavirus crisis. 

That means more places could be able to serve bevvies outside to thirsty Brits to help them through the summer months.

Pubs are set to reopen but with extra rules in place

Cinemas, museums and art galleries to return

Downing Street confirmed last night that cinemas, museums and art galleries will be among a raft of venues allowed to reopen from July 4. 

They will need to meet new Covid-safety measures such as one-way systems, spaced queueing, increased ventilation and pre-booked tickets. 

The Government will issue sector-specific guidance to ensure the public remain safe. 

Visiting friends and family is on – but you may have to stay 2m away

Millions of families and friends will be allowed to visit each other’s homes for the first time in months.

Hugging and other body contact is not allowed under the plans but people will be allowed to stay at each other’s homes overnight.

It means families will be able to visit loved ones – although only 2 households can combine at any one time.

It does mean that families could visit one set of grandparents one night, then visit another set of grandparents the following day.

At the moment only single people are allowed to form a household bubble with another house – and can hug, stay overnight and visit each other.

Holidays & staycations get green light

The PM also today gave the greenlight for Brits to book staycations from July 4 by allowing hotels and B&Bs to reopen. 

All but essential travel has been banned for the last three months abroad.

But the news means people can start booking a well-earned holiday.


The reopening of hotels and holiday parks could see Brits enjoy trips to places like Brighton beach

People to be able to get a haircut

Shaggy-haired Brits will be able to get a professional cut from July 4 after weeks of DIY disasters, Boris also said.

All hairdressers will be required to wear full-face plastic visors to reduce the risk of infection. 

There will also be strict rules about disinfecting equipment.

Customers will only be allowed in by appointment and there will be a limit on numbers. 

Gyms & pools stay shut

Gyms and swimming pools have to stay shut, however.

Government scientists say they are still posing a risk and could spread coronavirus easily.


Another lockdown?

Downing Street insisted ministers “will not hesitate” to reimpose controls if the spread of the virus picks up again.

A No 10 source said: “We are only able to move forward this week because the vast majority of people have taken steps to control the virus.

“But the more we open up, the more important it is that everyone follows the social-distancing guidelines.

“We will not hesitate to reverse these steps if it is necessary to stop the virus running out of control.”