Museums and libraries have also reopened, but gymnasiums, pools and nail bars remain closed. Travel and social restrictions have been relaxed – people from different households can now enter their homes, for example.
And many who despair of what they see in the mirror can finally get their hair cut. In all cases, the rules of social distancing must be respected.
“It was getting frustrated that I couldn’t get my hair cut,” said William Brown, 25-year-old factory engineer at Headley’s Barber Shop in Blaby, central England.
“It was my head to be honest, I’m just glad it’s gone now,” he added.
Stephanie Headley, the 35-year-old owner, was also relieved to resume operations for the first time since the full lockdown was announced on March 23.
Headley said she was “a little anxious” and was inundated with appointments after Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed the latest easing of the lockout last week.
“I can’t wait to see all the questionable haircuts that have come out of their 40s,” she said.
Although the relaxation of the lock is warmly welcomed by many, the British government is concerned that the British government is too hasty, even reckless, to sanction the changes, given the still high rates of coronavirus infection and mortality in the country. In other countries, the reopening of bars and restaurants is causing the outbreak of infections.
As of Friday, 137 other virus-related deaths were recorded in the United Kingdom, the vast majority in England, bringing the total to 44,131, by far the highest in Europe and the third behind the United States and Brazil.
Johnson says the decision to facilitate the lockdown is based on scientific evidence that people are “significantly less likely to be around” someone with the virus than at the height of the pandemic.
“Let’s not blow now,” he said.
The biggest concern is centered around the pubs and what will happen when thirsty customers get one too many. Bas Javid, a commander of the London Metropolitan Police, urged residents of the capital to “remain accountable and respect social distances as the lockout restrictions are lifted this weekend.”
Although the social isolation guidelines mean that going to pubs and restaurants will inevitably be a different experience than we had before the lockdown, business should be brisk on Saturday, with a warning that the night could end be as busy as New Years Eve.
This is probably particularly true in pubs, which were able to open from 6 a.m. They have a range of regulations to follow, from registering customers at entry to verifying that the tables are far enough apart to comply with the rules of social distancing. Pubs and restaurants should make sure people are at least one meter (3.3 feet) away from those of another household if other measures to keep people safe are in place, such as l use of hand sanitizers. The wearing of masks, even by staff, is optional.
However, customers have said that rigmarole is worth it.
“It’s not the drink, it’s the joke with everyone,” said Frank Green, a regular at the Shropshire Arms in the city of Chester in north-west England.
The foreclosure has posed an existential threat to many sectors, including the 37,500 pubs in England, and their reopening offers some hope.
British Treasury chief Rishi Sunak said the hospitality sector is “a vital part” of the British economy and is expected to experience one of its deepest recessions in 300 years.
“British pubs and bars alone employ around half a million people, which is why it is such good news that so many are able to return to work this weekend, helping all of us to enjoy the summer safely, “he said.
The four nations of the United Kingdom – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – relax the lock at different speeds.
Leicester, in the center of England, is not participating in the easing. The government has reimposed foreclosure restrictions, including the closure of schools and non-essential stores, after an outbreak of new infections. Police are in force in the city to ensure people adhere to the local lock
Jo Kearney in Blaby, England contributed to this report.