Coronavirus: Two households allowed to meet indoors as long as they keep their distance, Boris Johnson announces

'National hibernation' beginning to end, prime minister says.

Kate Devlin
Whitehall Editor
Tuesday 23 June 2020 13:42
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Two households allowed to meet indoors as long as they keep their distance, Johnson announces

Family and friends will be allowed to meet in indoor gatherings in homes, pubs and restaurants from 4 July, so long as they involve no more than two households at a time, Boris Johnson has announced.

The prime minister told the House of Commons that thanks to the progress that has been made in the fight against coronavirus “we can now go further and safely ease the lockdown in England”.

Every restriction lifted would be conditional and reversible, however, he warned.

From 4 July, two households will be able to meet indoors for the first time since March.

There will be no size limits imposed on either side.

But, as they do not amount to a “support bubble”, they should continue to observe one-metre social distancing guidelines when meeting, the PM’s official spokesman said.

There will also be no ban on meeting other households at different times, meaning grandparents will not have to choose between different grandchildren.

Families will also be able to meet up with different friends consecutively.

Outdoors, people will be allowed to congregate in parks and gardens in a group of up to six people from six households, so long as they observe social distancing rules.

Two households will also be able to go on holiday together in shared accommodation or neighbouring tents, as long as they continue to observe social distancing rules.

Making the announcement, the most dramatic since he announced lockdown three months ago, Mr Johnson said the government did not “currently” believe there was a risk of a second peak that would overwhelm the NHS.

The Conservative leader also announced that pubs, cinemas and hotels could reopen on 4 July and that the two metre rule will be slashed to just one metre on the same day.

The reopening of venues, including museums, galleries and places of worship, will come alongside stringent guidelines to make them Covid secure.

Mr Johnson said the changes meant friends and families could begin to ask each other for help with childcare.

The measures meant the "national hibernation" was beginning to end, and "life is returning to our streets", he said.

But he stressed that while he wanted to see the public using shops and pubs: “People should act in a responsible way”.

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