Govt sets earliest date for churches to reopen

The Government has said that churches will be permitted to reopen “no earlier than 4 July”.

In its 60-page COVID-19 recovery strategy, which outlines its plan for exiting lockdown, the Government said it plans to allow a number of premises and businesses to reopen by July, though this is subject to the scientific guidance at the time.

Alongside places of worship, personal care facilities such as hairdressers and salons, leisure facilities such as cinemas, and hospitality businesses could reopen in July if social distancing measures mean the rate of infections has dropped sufficiently for the change to be deemed safe.

Phased plan

The plan said when such places reopen, they must still implement social distancing measures. However it also recognised this would not be possible everywhere at all times.

It said: “Some venues which are, by design, crowded and where it may prove difficult to enact distancing may still not be able to re-open safely at this point, or may be able to open safely only in part.

“Nevertheless the Government will wish to open as many businesses and public places as the data and information at the time allows.”

It added that some re-openings would be phased and piloted to ensure they are safe.

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