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Mon, 13 July 2020

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Coronavirus: Matt Hancock suggests people might have to register before going to the pub

Coronavirus: Matt Hancock suggests people might have to register before going to the pub

Matt Hancock made the comments ahead of an expected announcement on easing the lockdown

2 min read

Matt Hancock has suggested people might have to register before going to the pub under new plans for easing the coronavirus lockdown.

The Health Secretary said the measures were being considered in order to make it "safe" for the hospitality sector to reopen as ministers look towards further easing of restrictions.

His comments come ahead of an expected announcement from Boris Johnson on halving the two-metre social distancing rule, provided people take extra steps to protect themselves, such as wearing face coverings.

Many pubs and restaurants have been calling for the change, warning they would not be able to resume trading if the current two-metre restrictions remained in place.

But asked by Sky's Sophy Ridge whether people could be asked to "register" before going to a pub and to order drinks via an app, Mr Hancock said he "wouldn't rule it out".

"That is the sort of thing that we are looking at for how do you make it safe to open things," he said.

Defending the plans, the Health Secretary said the precautions would also make it easier to track the close contacts of anyone who later tested positive for the virus.

He later told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show: “There are all sorts of mitigations you can put in place to be physically closer than two metres, but not have the transmission of the virus or the risk of the transmission that you would otherwise have.”

Meanwhile, Mr Hancock also refused to rule out hairdressers being given the go ahead to reopen when a new wave of lockdown restrictions are lifted on 4 July, saying: "A lot of the country does need a haircut".

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