A reduction in social distancing rules to one metre plus has been welcomed by the Entrepreneurs’ Forum – which says the decision will have wider implications for businesses and the economy.
Chief Executive Jonathan Lamb said: “The two-metre social distancing reduction is an absolutely vital measure for those in the hospitality industry, including pubs, cafes and restaurants, and has much wider implications for the economy at large.
“The reduction could represent a huge step towards normality for those businesses where staff cannot work from home or who are unable to fully or partially reopen because of the two-metre restriction.
“Of even greater significance is the effect it will have on the ability of schools to fully reopen in September, allowing millions of parents to return to work or resume working at full capacity.
“This is crucial because, if the workforce is not available just as the economy begins to restart, business will be negatively impacted.
“However, it is important that the government continues to be driven by data and public safety and that the two-metre rule can be relaxed without risking a potential second wave of COVID-19.
“Ultimately, we have to ensure that if workplaces are planning to reopen, that the health and safety of employees, customers and suppliers is the highest priority.”
Making the announcement this afternoon (June 23), Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that while a one metre plus rule would be introduced from July 4, people should remain two metres apart “where possible”.
The current two-metre rule will remain in force in both Scotland and Wales for the time being.
Among the venues listed as being able to reopen are: pubs, bars and restaurants; hotels, holiday apartments, campsites and caravan parks; theatres and music halls; places of worship; hair salons and barbers; libraries, community centres and bingo halls; cinemas, museums and art galleries; funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks, amusement arcades, skating rinks and model villages and indoor attractions where animals are exhibited, including zoos, Aquariums, farms, safari parks and wildlife centres.