All parts of the UK are travelling in the same direction

23 June 2020

The Prime Minister when speaking to Parliament on 23 June 2020, confirmed that the Administrations within Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will ease their restriction relaxations at their own pace.

However, in the meanwhile and in England, from the 4 July 2020 two households of any size should be able to meet in any setting inside or out.

Restaurants and pubs will be allowed to re-open from 4 July, however be limited to delivering a table service only.

The two-metre distance should still be observed where it can be however, where the following criteria is being observed then a policy of ‘one metre plus’ should mitigate the risk of transmission:

This means that people should remain one metre apart, while taking mitigations to reduce the risk of transmission.  Government have published guidance on how businesses can reduce the risk by taking certain steps to protect workers and customers. Criteria includes:

  • Avoiding face-to-face seating by changing office layouts,
  • Reducing the number of people in enclosed spaces,
  • Improving ventilation,
  • Using protective screens and face coverings,
  • Closing non-essential social spaces,
  • Providing hand sanitiser
  • Changing shift patterns so that staff work in set teams.

There is now a mandatory requirement for passengers travelling on public transport to wear face coverings.

Hairdressers will also be allowed to reopen by taking appropriate precautions, including the use of visors. Nail Bars will not yet re-open.

Also reopening and available for people to stay overnight in self-contained accommodation from 4 July are:

  • Hotels and bed & breakfasts
  • Caravan Parks and campsites as long as shared facilities are kept clean

And most leisure facilities and tourist attractions will also be able to reopen if they can do so safely which will include:

  • Outdoor gyms
  • Playgrounds
  • Cinemas
  • Museums and galleries
  • Theme parks and arcades
  • Libraries
  • Social clubs
  • Community centres.

This doesn’t yet include “Close proximity” venues such as nightclubs, soft-play areas, indoor gyms, swimming pools and spas and they will need to remain closed for now, as will bowling alleys and water parks.

Guidance is being published to support employers and businesses to prepare to take the appropriate measure in order to be able to re-open safely on the 4 July. FAQ's have also been published in a bid to help clafify what we can, and what we cannot do, up to and beyond 4 July.

The Prime Minister concluded his statement to Parliament by re-confirming the measures to stay alert, control the virus and save lives and that “Today, we can say that our long national hibernation is beginning to come to an end…”

The message to remain vigilant and to self-isolate if you or any of the household show symptoms of the virus so as to limit the spread of the virus.

The 5pm press conferences that have become a daily way of life for many will cease to be a daily occurrence.

The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication. For all the latest information, news and resources on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting payroll professionals, visit our Coronavirus hub.