This is when UK lockdown restrictions will next be reviewed - and what could change

It is nearly three months since the UK went into lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Thursday, 18th June 2020, 11:24 am
Updated Thursday, 18th June 2020, 11:24 am

Life is slowly returning to something resembling normal, with non-essential shops having reopened on Monday, but pubs, restaurants, cinemas and hairdressers all remain closed for now.

The COVID-19 restrictions for England were last reviewed on May 28, leading to new rules on meeting family and friends, and a phased return to school for pupils, as the country entered the second phase of its lockdown exit strategy.

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Photo by Matt Dunham - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The measures in place were being reviewed every three weeks up to that point but that period has now been extended to four weeks, meaning the upcoming review is due to be held next Thursday, June 25.

The Government is expected to announce steps towards entering phase three of its exit strategy, which it has said will come into effect on July 4 at the earliest, following this latest review.

Pubs, hairdressers and cinemas to reopen?

That could mean hairdressers, beauty salons, pubs, restaurants, hotels and cinemas being allowed to reopen, subject to social distancing and other safety measures being in place.

Places of worship, where private prayer is already allowed again, may also be permitted to reopen more fully.

However, the Government has said that some venues where it might prove difficult to observe social distancing, which could include smaller pubs or music venues, may have to remain shut or only partially reopen.

The next round of reopenings will be ‘carefully phased’ and ‘piloted’ to test the ability of such venues to adhere to the regulations, the guidance states.

Two-metre rule to be relaxed?

Many businesses have called for England’s two-metre social distancing guidelines to be halved, in line with the World Health Organisation’s recommendations.

Only a third of England’s pubs would be able to reopen with two-metre distancing in place, according to the British Beer & Pub Association, which claims that reducing the distance would save pubs and jobs.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has promised that the Government will ‘actively review’ the two-metre rule, which is based on recommendations by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE).

And Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently said there was now ‘more margin for manoeuvre’ over coronvairus.