The Prime Minister could be set to take full control of the social distancing measure, and is thought to be considering relaxing the two-metre rule, reports claim. This crucial intervention from the Prime Minister comes as one of the country’s leading restaurateurs warns that if it is not scrapped, the hospitality sector will be hit by millions of job losses. Last night, Tory MPs predicted that the review – to be run by Downing Street’s newly appointed Permanent Secretary, Simon Case – would provide a road map for the two-metre rule to be relaxed in time for the reopening of pubs on July 4, the Mail on Sunday reports.
As of today, over 294,000 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in the UK and the fatality toll has tragically hit 41,662. The news of the planned lift of lockdown measures comes after 12 regions in England reported zero new infections in the last week.
FOLLOW BELOW FOR LIVE UPDATES:
8.00 am update: There has been no date set for pubs and restaurants to reopen in Norther Ireland.
Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster said the medical advice suggested 2m apart was the “safest place to be”.
While pubs, bars and restaurants could open in England from 4 July, no date has been given in Scotland, Wales or NI.
7.50 am update: Prime Minister Boris Johnson has commissioned a review into the 2m, 6ft, social distancing rule, following calls to scrap it.
Businesses and some of Mr Johnson’s own MPs have warned that large parts of the hospitality industry will not be viable with the 2m coronavirus rule in place.
The review will aim to be completed by 4 July, when pubs and restaurants could open at the earliest in England.
But former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith questioned the need for a review, saying “the evidence is already there”.
7.20 am update: Beijing could start mass testing again as the country hits new high in infections, not seen since April.
Beijing should expand the scope of nucleic acid testing for the new coronavirus in and the scope of sampling in the Chinese capital, a city government spokesman said on Sunday.
He told a news conference Beijing has entered an “extraordinary period” after the city reported a record 36 confirmed new cases of the virus for Saturday.
7.10 am update: China reports 57 new virus cases, highest daily count since April.
China on Sunday reported 57 new cases of the coronavirus, the highest daily figure since 13 April, as concerns grow about a resurgence of the disease.