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COVID-19: Lockdown to be relaxed in England as two-metre rule is reduced

Image: BBC

Pubs, restaurants, hotels and hairdressers can open from 4 July in England, when social distancing rules will be eased.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said people should remain 2m apart where possible but a "one metre plus" rule would be introduced.

Two households in England will also be able to meet indoors and stay overnight - with social distancing.

The prime minister warned that all the steps were "reversible".

The government's chief medical adviser, Prof Chris Whitty, said the relaxation represented a "reasonable balance of risk".

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Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Wales' First Minister Mark Drakeford and Northern Ireland's Arlene Foster have said the 2m rule will remain in place in their nations for the time being.

Theatres, cinemas, libraries, museums, theme parks and zoos are among other businesses that can also reopen.

But indoor gyms, swimming pools, nail bars and indoor play areas will remain closed for the moment, as they have been since lockdown started on 23 March.

During the government's final daily coronavirus briefing, Mr Johnson said "task forces" were being established to work out how they too could reopen.

Shop owner Rezia isn't optimistic that business will improve for him when other places re-open


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