What are the new social-distancing rules?
Two households of any size will now be able to meet in any setting – indoors or outdoors. That does not mean they must always be the same household, although meetings of multiple households indoors are not recommended.
People will now be able to meet indoors as well as outdoors in gardens, plus in public outdoor spaces such as parks, while keeping a safe, one-metre-plus distance from those that they do not live with.
The two-metre rule has been reduced to one-metre social distancing, plus mitigation. The Prime Minister said that the risk at ‘one-metre-plus’ is “broadly equivalent to the risk at two metres”.
The new rule will also allow any two households to meet up in a pub, restaurant, museum, cinema or even go on holiday together. It does not always have to be the same two households that meet.
The Government’s strategy says that its scientific advisers – Sage – have said that “the risk of infection outside is significantly lower than inside”. This is why the lockdown rules been able to change.
“We cannot lift all the conditions at once and every step is scrupulously weighed against the evidence,” Mr Johnson told the House of Commons.
“Our appeal is to trust the British public to use their common sense in the full knowledge of the risks, remembering that the more we open up the more vigilant we will need to be.”
Can I see my family and friends?
Families will be allowed to meet groups of relations or friends indoors for the first time since lockdown began – but there will be a ban on hugging or touching.
From July 4 any two households can meet together under the same roof, and even stay overnight, as long as they observe social distancing.
It means families could invite one set of grandparents over for lunch and then see the other grandparents for dinner, as long as they are not there at the same time.
Up to two households will be able to stay overnight in self-contained accommodation, as long as shared facilities are kept clean and distancing is maintained.
Existing rules allowing up to six people from up to six different households to meet outdoors remain, as does the rule that allows someone living alone to join a “support bubble” with another household and be treated as if they live in the same home.
Downing Street admitted that people would need to show a lot of discipline and restraint to adhere to the new rules, but stressed that if the virus started to spread again the changes would be swiftly reversed.
What is a support bubble?
People can now also see friends or family in certain circumstances as part of the newly introduced ‘support bubbles’.
On June 10 the Prime Minister announced that single-adult households – adults living alone, or single parents who have children under the age of 18 – would be able to form ‘support bubbles’ with one other household.
“All those in a support bubble will be able to act as if they live in the same household, meaning they can spend time inside each other’s homes and do not need stay two metres apart,” Mr Johnson said.