Hairdressers and hospitality will not reopen until July 4 ‘at the earliest’, says Dominic Raab
Dominic Raab also confirmed the Government is looking at plans to allow people more access to their extended family.
Hairdressers and those in the hospitality sector will not be able to go back to work until July 4 “at the earliest” under the Government’s timetable for easing the coronavirus lockdown.
Speaking after Boris Johnson set out a three-phase plan to gradually lift some of the sweeping restrictions on daily life, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the hospitality and personal care sectors could go back “subject to conditions” from that date.
He told Sky News’ Kay Burley: “There are three steps.
“So from the earliest, 1st June, we’ll look at non-essential retail and how they can go back - only if the conditions are met, subject to wider monitoring so that we only proceed in a sure-footed way.
“And then from 4 July, at the earliest, subject to the conditions, we’ll look at other sectors and that will include hospitality but it will also include personal care and people like hairdressers.”
Mr Raab said the close “proximity” required for those working in personal care and hospitality meant ministers “just don’t think we’re ready yet given where we are with the virus” to give the go-ahead.
But he vowed that a batch of documents set to be published by the Government this week will give “very clear guidance“ on how different sectors of the economy can begin to safely operate.
In his speech on Sunday night, Mr Johnson promised that firms would be given help to become “Covid secure”, as he urged Brits who cannot do their jobs from home to begin to return to work, while avoiding public transport.
But Labour has said it is “deeply concerned” by a lack of detail in the Government's plans, with frontbenchers Ed Miliband and Andy McDonald writing: “Ordering a return to work with 12 hours' notice and no official guidance on how workers can keep safe is irresponsible and wrong.”
Mr Raab said the Government’s “over-riding goal” was “to make sure we protect people’s health” and avoiding allowing the virus to “get out of control”.
“But we also start to protect livelihoods and preserve our way of life as best we can in these circumstances,” he added.
Speaking in the same interview, Mr Raab also confirmed that the Government is looking at plans to allow people to spend time with their wider family and not just their immediate household.
“What we’ve asked is we’ve asked the scientists to look at whether there could be some limited contact between, say, two different households within the same family,” he said.
“And we’ve asked them to give us some advice on what that would do to the transmission rate.
“So until we’ve got that advice back we’re not in a position to say yes you can positively do that. But it is something we want to look at because... we can see why people want to be more in touch with their close family.”