The Prime Minister Boris Johnson has just announced in the House of Commons that the 2 metre social distancing rule is to be relaxed to 1 metre-plus, although people should remain 2 metres apart where possible.
The news will be very welcome across hospitality sectors where keeping the 2-metre rule would have meant that many pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes would have been unable to open.
The 1-metre-plus rule will only work if other measures are put in place to limit the transmission of the virus. These include wearing a face covering, installing screens, making sure people face away from each other, and providing extra handwashing facilities.
When hospitality sites in England reopen on 4 July, Johnson said they will be limited to table service with minimal staff and contactless payment.
Cinemas, museums and galleries will also be able to reopen from the same date.
Households will be able to host visitors in their home, including overnight, and to meet with members of different households, on different occasions – including in a restaurant or pub.
However, the Government has warned that the loosening of the lockdown rules would be reversed if they led to a surge in the virus.