THOUSANDS of businesses shuttered because of coronavirus have finally been given the go ahead to reopen.
Nightclubs and strip clubs are among the last businesses that will open their doors again.
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Prime Minister Boris Johnson today announced the final lifting of lockdown restrictions, which is expected to take place in two weeks time on July 19.
Freedom Day, as it's been dubbed, will see any venue that is still closed because of coronavirus finally allowed to reopen.
That includes, nightclubs, strip clubs, shisha bars, along with other late night venues, larger events and festival.
Rules for social distancing and the wearing masks will also be lifted with a final decision on the date due to be made on July 12.
Mr Johnson said Britain could unlock further after the successful rollout of vaccines.
He said: "As we come to the fourth step, we have to balance the risks. We must take a careful and balanced decision."
But the government will move away from legal restrictions, letting people take "their own informed decisions" about wearing a mask.
He said: "We must be honest with ourselves that if we can't reopen our society in the next few weeks when we will be helped by the arrival of summer and by the school holidays, then we must ask ourselves when will we be able to return to normal?"
In a "big bang" showering of freedoms, the PM confirmed:
- Hefty fines for refusing to wear a mask indoors will be dropped as face mask laws binned – but coverings will still be recommended for crowded spaces, including supermarkets and at pubs and restaurants
- All legal limits restricting social contact will be torn up, such as the rule of six or rule of 30 outside
- Work from home guidance will be dropped in favour of firms' discretion
- Pub rules will be binned – with table service scrapped and social distancing ending
- Strict caps on care home visitors will be ditched – but PPE will stay
- ALL adults will now get their second jab after eight weeks, down from 12
- The one metre plus social distancing rule will be binned – except for ports and for people who have Covid
- It means festivals and full stadiums will finally be able to make a return after lifting all limits on mass events
- Covid certificates will be binned – but individual places can still demand them if they want
- Ministers will announce school bubble rules and holiday quarantine updates later this week
- Doubled jabbed Brits will soon escape isolation rules if they are in contact with a positive case
The one metre plus social distancing rule will be binned – except for ports and for people who have Covid
Visitors to nightclubs and other venues reopening will not have to wear a mask by law, and there is no longer the risk of a fine for anyone not wearing one.
But the venue itself could still ask you to wear one under their own rules and Brits have been urged to consider others, especially in places where they are in close contact.
Key reopening dates
Shops and hairdressers opened their doors again, along with libraries, zoos and theme parks.
Pubs and restaurants opened again for dining outdoors.
Pubs and restaurants reopened for indoor dining, while other indoor activities did too.
That included places like cinemas. bowling alleys and saunas.
All rules will be lifted and any businesses still closed can now reopen
There will be no requirement for social distancing in these venues, and the rules currently requiring this in pubs and restaurants will end too.
Revellers will not need to show proof of a covid jab to get in either, though it's up to a venue to decide.
The Prime Minister's roadmap was first outlined back in February, with four stages for getting the country back to normal after the coronavirus pandemic.
The fourth and final stage of lockdown restrictions easing was expected to take place on June 21.
Rising cases of the Delta variant caused the government to delay the last stage of reopening by a month.
Here's a list of businesses that can now open.
Which businesses can reopen on July 19?
- Strip clubs
- Shisha bars
- Larger events
June 21 was always the earliest for the next – and final – stage of the roadmap for lifting the country out of lockdown.
The date of this "final unlocking" when all restrictions are lifted is now confirmed as July 19.
Nightclubs are among the last to reopen due to the difficulty of making them Covid-secure
There is limited social distancing and it's harder to keep areas clean constantly.
What businesses reopened on May 17?
- Pubs (indoor serving)
- Restaurants (indoor serving)
- Steam rooms
- Bingo halls
- Bowling alleys
- Big events (with capacity limits)
- Sports stadiums (with capacity limits)
Businesses that rely on an indoor setting were allowed to open their doors to customers again from May 17.
This includes pubs and restaurants, both of which are now allowed dine-in customers.
Some larger events have finally kicked off again from May 17 too.
It means footie fans have been able to watch Euro 2020 games at Wembley with social distancing measures in place.
Indoor events such as gigs have a capacity limit of 1,000, or 50% – whichever is the smaller number.
Meanwhile, outdoor events can welcome up 4,000 or 50% capacity.
But outdoor events which are seated, such as football matches, are capped at 10,000 or 25%.
Other businesses allowed to reopen include indoor entertainment, such as cinemas and bingo halls.
What businesses reopened on April 12?
Here is a list of businesses that were allowed to welcome back customers from April 12:
- Clothing shops
- Homeware shops
- Toy shops
- Vehicle showrooms (other than for rental)
- Betting shops
- Tobacco and vape shops
- Electronic goods shops
- Mobile phone shops
- Auction houses (except for auctions of livestock or agricultural equipment)
- Market stalls selling non-essential goods
- Pubs (outdoor service only)
- Restaurants (outdoor service only)
- Gyms (indoor exercising – but no classes)
- Beauty salons
- Theme parks
- Drive-in cinemas
- Drive-in performances
- Community centres
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