Coronavirus: Boris Johnson to announce opening of hospitality sector

Boris Johnson
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson remains positive about Britain's future outside of Europe

As restrictions continue to ease in the UK, Boris Johnson is set to announce plans to allow pubs restaurants, museums and cinemas to reopen.

The announcement is long-awaited and is expected that plans will come into effect from 4 July – allowing the hospitality sector to continue after months of lockdown measures.

The prime minister is chairing the Cabinet on Tuesday morning, before making his daily statement at 5 pm. It is also expected that he will review the 2-meter social-distancing rule, which is expected to be cut to 1-meter.

Ahead of the change, unions have expressed concerns over the upcoming changes.

Doug Russell, health and safety officer for Usdaw, which represents shop staff, said: “A lot of hard work has gone into figuring out how you could get the message across for 2 metres and to be honest it’s not perfect but a sudden change of direction through the process would be a nightmare.”

“Already one of the key triggers of arguments and fights is over physical separation, if you get a situation where half the population thinks social distancing is over, and the other half are very scared about getting too close, then this could lead to problems,” he added.

New plans announced by health secretary, Matt Hancock, mean that those in the UK who have been shielding will be able to gather outdoors with up to six people in July.

“I know this has been incredibly tough,” he said. “Shielding has involved not leaving your house for months, not seeing people you care about, not being able to wander to the park for some fresh air, or even pop to the shops for something you need. This sacrifice has been for a purpose, and I want to thank every single one of you.”

Northern Ireland is also expected to ease restrictions in the coming weeks.

Brandon Lewis, Northern Ireland secretary, said on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme: “I appreciate many people do want to see things starting to get back to whatever that new normal will be. If we are able to say to pubs and other establishments that they are able to open in the near future, we will be issuing guidelines as well.”