What can I do this summer? A Lockdown Easing Guide
As the number of new Corona virus cases in the UK continues to fall week on week, the question now for many becomes when can normal life return? When can I get a haircut? Can I go on holiday this summer? Where do I have to wear a facemask? These are important questions in the quest to get the nation and the economy moving again. Many of the answers at this point remain conditional, as the UK and the world battles to avoid a second spike. Nevertheless, we endeavour to provide the most up to date information in answer to these burning questions.
Hotels, Holiday, and Travel: Hotels will be allowed to re-open with adequate safety measures from the 4th of July. Measures to prevent the spread of infection include deep cleaning, Perspex screens at check in, and the removal of mini bars and buffets. While the date of hotels re-opening is set at the 4th July, many owners such as largescale Hotel operator Accor will in fact be staggering the opening of their hotels all the way to September and beyond. In addition to hotels, campsites and caravan parks will also be allowed to reopen.
However, devolved governments in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are operating their own timetables for easing lockdown measures. It is unlikely Scotland or Wales will be open to visitors before the middle of July. Northern Ireland will be open ‘as usual’ from the 3rd of July. The Channel Islands remain closed to tourists for the time being.
Restaurants, Pubs, and Hairdressers: It has been announced that restaurants, pubs, and hairdressers will be given the greenlight to also open again on the 4th of July. However, this may include a number of changes to how these businesses operate. It has been hinted at by Health Secretary Matt Hancock that pubs may require drinkers to ‘register’ before entering, as a part of the wider track and trace effort.
For both restaurants and pubs, it is predicted this will be the summer of the ‘al fresco’ revolution as punters are encouraged to use outdoor spaces and to order via apps. It has also been announced that the social distancing rules will be relaxed from two metres to one metre ‘plus’ to make it viable for businesses to adhere to them and to remain profitable. It is estimated that businesses would be able to generate only 30% of pre-lockdown revenue with the two-metre rule in place, and with a one metre rule the figure jumps to roughly 70%.
Hairdressers are also allowed to reopen on the 4th, but visors must be worn while haircuts are carried out.
What else is opening on the 4th: A whole host of other amenities will open on the 4th including libraries, community centres, bingo halls, cinemas, museums, and galleries. These will be joined by arcades, social clubs, outdoor skating rings, and model villages.
Places of worship will also be allowed to reopen for services, prayers, and weddings – but these will be limited to a maximum of 30 guests, adhering to social distancing.
What is remaining closed: Nightclubs, casinos, bowling alleys, swimming pools, spas and indoor play soft play centres are all remaining closed for the moment, as these are all at a higher risk of spreading the infection. The current government guidance is these will be opened ‘as soon as it is safe to do so’.
Where can people meet: In addition to pubs and restaurants reopening, from the 4th of July you are now permitted to meet up with another household of any size in an indoor setting, meaning many friends and loved ones will now be able to meet face to face for the first time since lockdown. Social distancing must be observed.
Face coverings: It is now a legal requirement to wear face coverings in a number of places, including public transport as well as when visiting hospitals. Face coverings are not to be confused with face masks, which are medical grade PPE. Face masks should be avoided as these medical grade masks must be reserved for frontline staff who require them. The government has provided guidelines on how to make your own face coverings at home which can be created from scarves or other textiles items. They should cover the nose and mouth but allow the wearer to breathe easily and can be as simple as a scarf or bandana.
Passengers who are disabled, have breathing problems (such as asthma), or are under 11 will not be subject to these rules. Those not wearing face coverings may be denied travel or face a fine. Public transport does not include school buses, cruise ships, and taxis – however, Uber has announced it will make face masks compulsory in its vehicles.
In conclusion… As more and more businesses reopen on the 4th of July, we all welcome the return to normality. However, in these difficult economic times, ensure that you aren’t being over charged to receive payments from your customers, check out our great range of card terminal and e-commerce solutions.