Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce a number of changes to the current lockdown rules in England on Tuesday 23 June, as the country approaches phase three of its exit plan.
The announcement will come following a review meeting with his most senior Cabinet members on Monday 22 June, alongside chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance and chief medical officer for England, Professor Chris Whitty.
What changes could be announced?
The meeting of senior Cabinet members and scientific advisers will see current restrictions reviewed to determine if it is safe to begin the next phase of the lockdown exit plan.
Mr Johnson will consult with his Cabinet about plans for the reopening of the hospitality sector in England from 4 July. Such plans will be outlined in Parliament on Tuesday 23 June, detailing if businesses - including pubs, hotels, restaurants and hairdressers - can safely reopen from 4 July.
His announcement to MPs in Parliament will come ahead of his speech to the nation, outlining any new measures that will be introduced.
Over the weekend, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that England is “clearly on track” to further ease lockdown restrictions after repeated calls to relax the two metre social distancing rule to one.
Mr Johnson will discuss the proposed reduction of the two metre rule with the Covid-19 strategy committee on Monday afternoon. He is expected to reduce the required distance between members of different households to just one metre in England, with some mitigating measures.
The Prime Minister said, "As we get the numbers down, so it becomes one in 1,000, one in 1,600, maybe even fewer, your chances of being two metres, or one metre, or even a foot away from somebody who has the virus is obviously going down statistically, so you start to build some more margin for manoeuvre."
Following the government review, the rule is expected to come into effect on 4 July, providing it is considered safe.
Will it be good news for businesses?
The UK government is also expected to publish new guidance on how businesses can reduce the spread of coronavirus when they reopen. The so-called Covid Bill will look at new ways of working as the country recovers, which is intended to help businesses through the summer months in particular.
In part, the proposed changes would see every pub, bar and restaurant automatically given permission to serve alcohol for people to drink on the pavement and in the street, exploiting scientific findings that coronavirus spreads less easily outside.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said on 22 June, “In terms of what is in the Bill, it is right that that will go to Parliament first but, as I say, at the heart of it will be legislation to enable businesses to adjust to new ways of working and to help them to capitalise on the summer months.
"It will look to support business to implement safer ways of working to manage the ongoing risks of coronavirus and, in particular, the need for social distancing."
When will Boris Johnson make the announcement?
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce on Tuesday (23 June) if the hospitality sector will be able to safely reopen on 4 July, along with the possibility of relaxing the two metre social distancing rule.
A Downing Street spokesperson confirmed Mr Johnson will make a statement at 12.30, if no urgent questions are made during Commons.