Boris Johnson has announced a reduction in the two-metre social distancing rule.
In a speech in parliament this afternoon, the PM said that while maintaining at least a two-metre distance is still “recommended where possible”, the official guidance will be updated to recommend “one-metre-plus” where necessary, if “mitigations” such as face masks are used.
Alongside traditional hospitality, cinemas, museums and art galleries, hotels and hairdressers will be allowed to reopen next month too.
Johnson said the government does not believe there is “currently a risk of a second peak of infections that might overwhelm the NHS”.
He added that due to this progress, the government can now “go further, and safely ease the lockdown in England”, but that each step of the eased lockdown will be “conditional and reversible”.
However, he said that the government did not want to see the virus “recapture ground which we may have vacated” as a result of softening restrictions, and that if it became necessary, he would reintroduce restrictions.