ORDERING at the bar may still be banned after July 19 with councils forcing venues to keep table service and masks.
Table service for pints in pubs could remain after ‘Freedom Day’ in two weeks – despite Boris Johnson being set to scrap remaining Covid curbs.
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Masks will become voluntary in almost all settings and there will be an end to “table service only” in pubs, the Prime Minister will tell the nation today.
Life will “return to normality as far as possible” as the PM sets out his plans on ending restrictions, scheduled for July 19.
The one-metre-plus social distancing rule will be lifted so punters in boozers can mingle and stand once again and they will not need to scan QR codes to enter venues.
But hospitality chiefs warned punters some pubs and restaurants may keep masks, table service and the rule-of-six, as doomster councillors aim to keep restrictions.
Venues could keep the measures to reassure customers who are nervous after 16 months of the pandemic, or if councils require it.
Kate Nicholls, chief executive of trade body UK Hospitality, said: “There’s going to be customers who are expecting everything to fall away and there’s going to be places that they won’t be able to do that.”
She called on councils not to hammer pandemic-hit businesses with tough rules as they enforce Covid-risk assessments.
Ms Nicholls said: “I think there might be a temptation of local authorities, that needs to be resisted, to put in place actual fixed regulations or rules that are more restrictive than they need to be.”
Yesterday, 24,258 positive cases were confirmed along with 15 deaths reported, down nearly two per cent week on week.
Hospitalisations were up 24 per cent, with 1,953 admitted suffering from the disease in the past seven days.
But with the arrival of upbeat new Health Secretary Sajid Javid Mr Johnson has won his battle against Cabinet naysayers and overly cautious docs to push on for a “maximalist” approach to lifting lockdown on July 19.
Top Cabinet Minister Robert Jenrick yesterday declared that the data was looking “very promising” and Stephen Powis, national medical director of NHS England, agreed the vaccine had “weakened” the link
between Covid cases and deaths.
DATA ‘VERY PROMISING’
The PM is expected to say: “Thanks to the successful rollout of our vaccination programme, we are progressing cautiously through our roadmap.
“Today we will set out how we can restore people’s freedoms when we reach step 4.
“I must stress that the pandemic is not over and that cases will continue to rise over the coming weeks.”
Government guidance will advise people to consider wearing face coverings in crowded, enclosed places, it’s reported.
To add to the confusion shops and public transport may still enforce mask wearing after July 19, despite the PM tearing up the laws.
People will be urged to use “common sense”, but there is concern the new rules could cause chaos with pandemic-weary Brits.
Meanwhile, millions of commuters on London’s Tube may also need to keep wearing masks after July 19.
London mayor Sadiq Khan has refused to rule out making face coverings compulsory on the network.
Transport for London (TfL) could set its own conditions of carriage, but sources told the Daily Mail that would be “very difficult”.
TFL commissioner Andy Byford said: “If Government advice is to drop masks, we will still take into account what our customers have said.
“What our customers have said is that they want to see a clean, safe,
Mask laws mean it is an offence for people to board a train, bus, plane or taxi without wearing one, unless medically exempt.