UK: Prime minister Boris Johnson has announced a phased approach to easing coronavirus lockdown restrictions, which could see some hospitality businesses open in July if certain targets are met.
Johnson unveiled a “conditional plan” to reopen society, and introduced a new Covid Alert System with five levels, which will govern how quickly lockdown restrictions could be eased.
The PM, who spent several days in intensive care suffering with Covid-19, said that some hospitality businesses and other public places could reopen – “if the numbers support it” – but not earlier than 1 July. However, he did not go in to any detail about which types of businesses he was referring too.
He said: “Throughout this period of the next two months we will be driven not by mere hope or economic necessity. We are going to be driven by the science, the data and public health. And I must stress again all of this is conditional, it all depends on a series of big ifs.”
There will be more details discussed in Parliament today [Monday], Johnson said.
Like the UK hotel sector, which has effectively been closed since the beginning of the lockdown period, much of the short-term rental industry has been at a standstill since restrictions began, with all bookings suspended in the UK through Booking.com since 23 April and Airbnb blocking all private room bookings earlier that month. A number of property management companies have however joined the NHS Homes scheme to accommodate NHS staff and other key workers.