UK’s Social Distancing Norms Get Relaxation; Hospitality Sector to Reopen from July 4

Summary

  • Boris Johnson confirms that UK is beginning to end the long national hibernation
  • Pubs will also reopen making sure that there is adequate ventilation and indoor seating arrangements
  • Households having a maximum of 6 members can get together with another household

Addressing the Parliament, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, on Tuesday, June 23, 2020, announced that the operations of various businesses would resume from July 4 in further lockdown easing, considering the new social distancing measures that need to be followed by the citizens.

The Covid-19 Pandemic not only took a toll on the lives of the people but also hampered the economic conditions throughout the world resulting in a slowdown of the economy, decline in the stock market, giving a financial shock, loss of production and resulting into increase in the unemployment rate.

Going by the latest reports of Public Health England (PHE) there have been 8,309,929 tests conducted till early morning of June 22, 2020, out of which 306,210 have been tested corona positive. The number of deaths recorded by the UK is 42,927.

Number of Daily Confirmed Cases and Deaths:

Date

Feb 27

Mar 01

Mar 14

Mar 23

Mar 31

Apr 06

Apr 12

Apr 30

May 15

May 27

June 10

June 23

Confirmed cases

03

13

342

669

2,619

5,903

8,719

4,076

3,446

4,043

1,741

958

Daily Increase

03

10

134

669

186

2,168

3,524

80

204

2,418

536

(263)

Deaths

0

0

11

48

180

621

917

4419

428

134

286

15

Daily Increase

0

0

9

48

(29)

(87)

(63)

3,833

(66)

13

231

(28)

(Source: WHO data)

The UK has been in lockdown since March 23, but the Government is started easing the lockdown gradually. In view of the decline in the number of cases and deaths recorded due to the novel coronavirus, the decisions were taken, and with the intention to bring the economy back to normal. The prime minister confirmed that they were beginning to end the "long national hibernation".

He also made an announcement that the 2-meter rule shall be dropped and a new "1-meter-plus" should be followed by the people to avoid the transmission of the disease. He was under pressure from the lawmakers of his own party and various industry bodies to do the same.

Households having a maximum of 6 members can get together with another household for any occasion or overnight stay. Restaurants and hotels have been allowed to reopen for dining, hosting of meetings or for celebrations of all kinds. But precautionary measures should always be taken such as social distancing of 1-meter plus, wearing of masks to cover the face/mouth, installing screen and proper handwashing facilities needs to be provided.

Pubs will also reopen making sure that there is adequate ventilation and indoor seating arrangements are made. Boarding houses can restart their services from July 4. Nightclubs and casinos, however, have been asked to remain shut till further notice.

Museums, galleries and theatres have been allowed to reopen provided they are not hosting any live performances. Public transport can continue after almost three months of interruption; however, it has been said that people should avoid standing in queues.

Salons and beauty parlours can extend their services on a condition that the clients should take prior appointments. Zoo, adventure parks, safari parks, etc. also to begin again, following strict social distancing and adopting additional reassurance and protection for the employees and customers.

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson also said that the steps to ease the lockdown were completely based on the fact that there were a reduced number of cases and they were able to gain victory over the coronavirus.

There has been a decline in the rate of new infections. Though they are still monitoring the conditions thoroughly, they do not see any risk of the repeated waves of the disease. People should try to keep a distance of 2-meter wherever possible, but if it's not possible in all circumstances, they should at least keep in mind the social distancing of '1-meter-plus' rule in order to reduce the risk of transmission.

Adding to these all, the Prime Minister also warned the citizens to always be cautious about the fact that the surroundings will be riskier on opening up more and more, hence it is essential to follow proper norms. He also said that it is expected from the Scottish and Wales Government and Northern Ireland executives to move in the same direction even though they can make their own judgments accordingly, regarding the measures to be undertaken for the public after the lockdown opens.

An official from the Prime Minister's office reportedly said that the rules and regulations could be reversed if there is an outbreak of the virus in the second phase. It is time that the citizens should be extra careful because the infection has not come to an end yet. People should be in self-discipline mode to avoid contracting the infection.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister, Rishi Sunak, has also acknowledged that they see new opportunities for the economy to revive on easing the lockdown.

Let’s discuss some of the companies in the hospitality sector who will be impacted by the government decision.

Wetherspoon (J.D.) Plc (LON: JDW) a pub company operating in Ireland and the UK. The stocks of the company were hovering around GBX 1,066.00 as at 14.34 PM GMT, down by 5.24 per cent against its previous closing. The stocks 52 weeks high and low were recorded at 559.50 / 1,734.00. The market cap of the company was reported at £1,354.28 million, while it has given a negative return of 32.96 per cent on a year to date basis.

Compass Group Plc (LON: CPG) is a world-class food and support services company. The stocks of the company were hovering around GBX 1,131.50 as at 14.41 PM GMT, down by 3.87 per cent against its previous closing. The stocks 52 weeks high and low were recorded at 1,002.00 / 2,138.00. The market cap of the company was reported at £20,995.97 million, while it has given a negative return of 38.15 per cent on a year to date basis.


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