Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced the end of social distancing in indoor settings in England, including hospitality venues, when step 4 of the government’s ‘roadmap to recovery plan’ is put into place.
He indicated that this is likely to be in 2 weeks’ time, on 19 July, though the final decision will be made in 1 week, on 12 July.
This means that foodservice sites should be able to operate at full capacity from 19 July with no restrictions on groups of diners.
As part of a five point plan Johnson revealed for living with Covid, he said in his address to the nation last night: “We will change the basic tools we have used to control human behaviour. We will move away from legal restrictions and allow people to make their own informed decisions about how to manage the virus.
“From step 4 we will remove all legal limits on the numbers meeting indoors and outdoors. We will allow more businesses to reopen, including nightclubs.
“We will end the 1metre plus rule on social distancing and the legal obligation to wear a face covering, although guidance will suggest where you might choose to do so, especially when cases are rising and when you come into contact with people you don’t normally meet in enclosed spaces.
“There will be no Covid certificate required as a condition of entry to any venue or event, although businesses and events can certainly make use of certification, and the NHS app gives you a Covid pass as one way to show your Covid status.”
At the same time, Johnson revealed that the government will no longer be instructing people to work from home.
Prior to this, the first three steps in this year’s ‘roadmap to recovery plan’ had proceeded at their earliest possible dates, with outdoor dining permitted from 12 April and indoor hospitality venues able to open from 17 May, though still at reduced capacity due to social distancing.
However this last step had been delayed from an earliest date of 21 June as the Delta variant of Covid has been rapidly spreading and the government allowed additional time to get more vaccines into more arms.