One in 10 Britons visited the hairdressers as survey shows people are warming to wearing facemasks
One in 10 Britons flocked to hairdressers and barbers to get their split ends and beards trimmed in the week after the coronavirus lockdown in England was eased.
A further 10 per cent ate or drank in a restaurant, cafe, bar or pub while 15 per cent collected takeaways, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Nearly one third of people surveyed between July 8 and July 12 said they would eat at a restaurant in the next seven days, while the number of adults who feel uncomfortable about eating out fell by nearly 10 per cent.
Meanwhile the number of people happy to wear face masks is rising, as nearly two thirds of adults said they were likely to wear a covering this week.
The ONS asked 1,743 people about their behaviour after Boris Johnson allowed pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants in England to reopen.
Hairdressers and barbers were also permitted to open their doors to the public again on July 4, dubbed ‘Super Saturday’, after months of lockdown.
Gyms, pools and other sports facilities will reopen on July 25, while the PM said today that he will update government guidance on getting people back into the office on August 1 after Tory MPs warned that lockdown was ‘killing’ the High Street.
10 per cent ate or drank in a restaurant, cafe, bar or pub while 15 per cent collected takeaways, according to the Office for National Statistics. Nearly one third of people surveyed between July 8 and July 12 said they would eat at a restaurant in the next seven days, while the number of adults who feel uncomfortable about eating out fell by nearly 10 per cent (pictured, drinkers enjoying a round of beers inside a Wetherspoons pub in Stratford, London)
One in 10 Britons flocked to hairdressers and barbers to get their split ends and beards trimmed in the week after the coronavirus lockdown in England was eased (pictured, Conrad Blandford, owner of Conrad Blandford Hairdressing salon, Sheffield wears PPE and a protective face mask works with a client’s hair in Sheffield)
Meanwhile the number of people happy to wear face masks is rising, as nearly two thirds of adults said they were likely to wear a covering this week (pictured, shoppers wearing face masks on Oxford Street ahead of a new rule to make wearing masks compulsory in public)
The ONS asked 1,743 people about their behaviour after Boris Johnson allowed pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants in England to reopen. Hairdressers and barbers were also permitted to open their doors to the public again on July 4, dubbed ‘Super Saturday’, after months of lockdown (pictured, a Subway worker serving a customer on June 12 in London)
Boris Johnson’s timetable for getting life in the UK back to normal
Today: Rules on using public transport will be relaxed so that ‘anybody may use’ buses, tubes and trains. Public transport no longer needs to be treated as a last resort.
Tomorrow: New ‘lightning lockdown’ powers for councils will be introduced to allow them to shut public spaces and premises without consulting the Government to stop outbreaks.
Next week: New local lockdown draft powers for ministers will be published to allow them to issue stay at home orders and impose travel restrictions.
August: New rules on working from home to be introduced to encourage more workers to return to their offices. Remaining leisure facilities like bowling alleys, casinos and skating rinks will reopen from August 1.
October: Stadiums could reopen to audiences for sport and music events, depending on the success of a pilot programme.
November: All ‘outstanding restrictions’ will be reviewed and eased in November at the earliest and ‘possibly in time for Christmas’.
The ONS survey released today shows more people are feeling comfortable with the idea of eating inside at a restaurant compared with the previous week.
Nearly three in 10 adults (27 per cent) said they would be comfortable or very comfortable eating indoors at a restaurant compared with 20 per cent last week.
Just over half (52 per cent) said they would be uncomfortable or very uncomfortable, compared with six in 10 (60 per cent) last week.
And the number of people wearing face coverings and happy to do so in future is also rising. In the seven days prior to the survey, 61 per cent of adults who left their homes wore a face covering – up from 52 per cent the previous week.
A similar proportion – 62 per cent – said they were either very or fairly likely to wear one in the next seven days, irrespective of whether they had worn one previously.
Hugh Stickland, ONS head of strategy and engagement, said: ‘As the lockdown restrictions continue to lift, we can see that people are slowly returning to social activities, meeting with friends and family and becoming a little more comfortable with eating out.
‘This most recent survey shows most people are still taking precautions, including maintaining social distancing and increasingly using face coverings when leaving the house.’
The ONS also found over nine in 10 (93 per cent) adults said they had left their home for any reason in the past seven days, similar to last week (92 per cent).
The most popular reason to leave home this week continues to be shopping for basic necessities, with three-quarters (74 per cent) of those who have left their home reporting doing so.
Over two in 10 (21 per cent) adults also said they had shopped for non-essential items such as clothes, furniture, and so on – up from 14 per cent last week.
Two-thirds of adults (67 per cent) met up with other people to socialise this week. Of these, half of adults (49 per cent) had met with one or two people, just over one quarter (27 per cent) had met up with three or four people and a similar proportion had met with more than five people (23 per cent).
For those aged 70 plus, 43 per cent had met with one or two people, a third had met with three or four people and 24 per cent had met more than five people.
When meeting up with other people over a half of adults (55 per cent) always maintained social distancing with six per cent saying they rarely or never maintained social distancing. For those aged 70 plus, over three-quarters (76 per cent) always maintained social distancing when meeting up with other people.
Meanwhile, 27 per cent said they were likely or very likely to go on holiday in the UK this summer, increasing from a quarter last week.
However, just under one in 10 adults (9 per cent) said they were likely or very likely to go on holiday abroad this summer, the same as last week.
The ONS asked 1,743 people about their behaviour after Boris Johnson allowed pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants in England to reopen (pictured: ONS graphs)
It comes as Mr Johnson today announced crowds could return to sports stadiums in the UK from October subject to successful pilot events starting later this month.
He also announced that he is aiming for life in the UK to return to something close to normal by Christmas as he set out his timetable for the further easing of lockdown.
The Government will publish new guidance applying from August on the crunch issue of working from home in the hope that more employees will physically return to their desks to give town and city centres a much needed economic boost.
However, in a significant softening of the PM’s tone on the issue, he stopped short of ordering workers to return after Sir Patrick Vallance, the Government’s chief scientific adviser, warned yesterday there was ‘absolutely no reason’ to change the existing policy of people working from home where they are able to.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson today set out the next stage in his plan to return life to normal in the UK as he delivered a press conference in 10 Downing Street
Sir Patrick Vallance yesterday told MPs he believed there was ‘absolutely no reason’ to chnge existing work from home guidance
Green light for fans to return to stadiums: Boris Johnson announces sports grounds could let spectators back in from October
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced crowds could return to sports stadiums in the United Kingdom from October subject to successful pilot events starting later this month.
Sports events have taken place without crowds since they restarted in recent weeks because of the risk of spreading coronavirus.
But laying out the next steps in lifting lockdown on Friday morning, Mr Johnson said: ‘From 1 August, we will restart indoor performance to a live audience, subject to the success of pilots, and we will also pilot larger gatherings in venues like sports stadia, with a view to a wider reopening in the autumn.
‘From October, we intend to bring back audiences in stadia. Again, these changes must be done in a Covid-secure way, subject to the successful outcome of pilots.’
It raises the possibility that only the first month of the 2020-21 football season will be played out behind closed doors, with supporters allowed back in the autumn.
The pilot events – which would see a limited number of spectators admitted to stadiums with social distancing rules observed – could begin this month.
It has been reported that pilot events will include the County Championship cricket match between Surrey and Middlesex at The Oval on July 26, the Glorious Goodwood race meet between July 28 and August 1, and the World Snooker Championship at the Crucible from July 31.
Sir Patrick and the chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, were both notably absent from the press conference despite the fact they have flanked the PM at briefings throughout the pandemic in a move which will ignite speculation of a worsening split between Mr Johnson and his experts.
The Government’s decision to task companies with deciding when workers should return immediately prompted unions to accuse Mr Johnson of trying to ‘pass the buck’ while business groups said they will still need ‘crystal clear’ guidance from ministers before they make decisions.
Meanwhile, the PM said the Government is targeting the reopening of stadiums in the autumn with audiences potentially returning to football matches and outdoor gigs in October.
Crucially, the PM also said the Government is hoping to review all the remaining ‘outstanding restrictions’ in the coming months in order to allow a ‘more significant return to normality from November’ and ‘possibly in time for Christmas’.
However, Mr Johnson insisted all of the proposed changes would only go ahead if the spread of coronavirus continues to fall and that ‘we will not hesitate at any stage to put on the brakes’ if there is an increase in infection.
He stressed the UK must be prepared for a potential second wave in the winter as he announced £3billion of extra funding for the NHS and unveiled new ‘lightning lockdown’ powers to enable ministers and councils to pounce on local outbreaks.
He also pledged to increase the UK’s daily coronavirus testing capacity to 500,000 a day by the end of October with the NHS Test and Trace programme tasked with playing a key role in keeping the disease under control.
Mr Johnson said any further changes to lockdown restrictions will rely ‘on our continued success in controlling the virus’.
The Prime Minister spoke last week about his desire for more workers to return to their places of work amid growing fears that a lack of commuters will see urban centres struggle to recover.
But his announcement today was more nuanced than had been anticipated as he said businesses would be given ‘discretion’ to decide, following consultation with staff, when workers should return rather than being ordered by the Government.
He told today’s briefing: ‘We will not proceed if doing so risks a second peak that would overwhelm the NHS.
‘Nonetheless it is important to give people hope and to give business confidence, so in England from today we are making clear that anybody may use public transport while of course encouraging people to consider alternative means of transport where they are available.
‘From July 25 we have already committed to reopening indoor gyms, pools and other sports facilities.
Public debt will soar as the UK reels from the coronavirus crisis, according to the Office For Budget Responsibility’s central scenario. By 2023-4 the liabilities will be around £660billion higher than forecast in March before the chaos hit – and that does not include an extra £50billion from the mini-Budget
The OBR’s downside scenario sees unemployment rising to more than four million next year – with a rate higher than seen in the 1980s
‘From August 1 we will update our advice on going to work. Instead of government telling people to work from home, we are going to give employers more discretion and ask them to make decisions about how their staff can work safely.
‘That could mean, of course, continuing to work from home which is one way of working safely, and which has worked for many employers and employees.
‘Or it could mean making work places safe by following Covid secure guidelines.
The steps indoor fitness chains are taking to keep ‘Covid-secure’
Fitness chains have revealed the steps they are taking to keep ‘Covid-secure’.
The chain has introduced new outdoor exercise timetables at around 50 of its 115 clubs around the UK, with up to 90 classes per week.
These include yoga, pilates and group exercises like HIIT workouts.
Five gym members plus one instructor will be allowed per session, and each person will have to keep their social distance.
Tennis courts at 70 of its sites have also started opening up.
Equipment has been moved apart to allow for one or two-metre distances, while the gyms will be subjected to frequent deepcleans.
Fitness First will be encouraging members to help clean their machines after use when it reopens its 120 gyms.
Staff will be required to wear PPE, while gym-goers will have to help keep the gym clean using cleaning stations and hand sanitisers.
Gym-goers will be able to keep two metres apart, thanks to spreading equipment around the centre. Some machines will be turned off.
Staff and members will also be subjected to temperature checks upon entry.
Equipment will be spaced out while some machines will be turned off at its near 260 sites around the UK.
Boxes will be marked out on the floors so people can keep their distance.
The fitness centre will conduct regular cleans while members will be asked to wipe down their machines after their use.
The number of customers allowed inside at one time will be limited.
Contactless entry will be encouraged when you arrive.
The Gym Group
There will be strict ‘no stop and chat’ rules to keep gym-goers safe.
Screens have been installed around treadmills and some equipment have been turned off completely.
The fitness chain will also conduct more deep cleans, while it will ask its members to keep their workout time to a maximum of one hour.
‘Whatever employers decide, they should consult closely with their employees and only ask people to return to their place of work if it is safe.’
Mr Johnson’s announcement on working from home appears to put him at odds with Sir Patrick.
The expert had told the Science and Technology Select Committee yesterday afternoon that the UK is ‘still at a time when distancing measures are important’ and that working remotely ‘remains a perfectly good option’.
He then went even further as he said many companies had found working from home had not been ‘detrimental to productivity’ and as a result there is no need to move away from the policy.
He said: ‘My view on this, and I think this is a view shared by SAGE, is that we are still at a time when distancing measures are important and of the various distancing measures working from home for many companies remains a perfectly good option because it is easy to do.
‘I think a number of companies think it is actually not detrimental to productivity and in that situation absolutely no reason I can see to change it.’
Mr Johnson today sought to down play splits with Sir Patrick as he said it was not for the Government to tell employers if staff should return to their workplaces.
‘I totally agree with Patrick Vallance on what he is saying,’ Mr Johnson said.
‘It is not for Government to decide how employers should run their companies and whether they want their work forces in the office or not – that is for companies.’
Tory MPs had urged Mr Johnson to overrule his adviser and order workers back to work as they warned a failure to act would risk the death of town and city centres.
The British Chambers of Commerce said firms will still need ‘crystal clear official guidance’ from the Government when they decide who should physically return and when.
Frances O’Grady, the general secretary of the TUC, said: ‘We all want to get the economy up and running as quickly as possible. Returns to workplaces must happen in a phased and safe way.
‘The Government is passing the buck on this big decision to employers.’
As well as the shift on working from home, Mr Johnson said that remaining leisure facilities like bowling alleys, skating rinks and casinos will be allowed to reopen from August 1 but night clubs will remain shut for the foreseeable future.
Restrictions on weddings in England will also be lifted to allow up to 30 people to attend receptions.
On the issue of reopening stadiums for sporting and music events, Mr Johnson said the timing would be dependent on the outcome of pilots but that ministers have earmarked October.
He said: ‘We will restart indoor performances to a live audience, subject to the success of pilots and we will also pilot larger gatherings in venues like sports stadia with a view to a wider reopening in the autumn.’
He added: ‘From October we intend to bring back audiences in stadia and to allow conferences and other business events to recommence.
‘Again these changes must be done in a Covid secure way subject to the successful outcome of pilots.’
Mr Johnson said that it is his hope that the Government will be able to recommend in the coming months that families and friends can resume more close contact.
‘Throughout this period we will look to allow more close contact between friends and family where we can,’ he said.
‘It is my strong and sincere hope that we will be able to review the outstanding restrictions and allow a more significant return to normality from November at the earliest, possibly in time for Christmas.’
Despite the PM’s optimistic timetable, Mr Johnson also warned that the UK must be ready to deal with spikes in infection as he set out new powers for councils to impose ‘lightning lockdowns’.
He said that as of tomorrow local authorities will be able to shut outdoor public spaces and cancel events if it is necessary to stop an outbreak.
Meanwhile, new powers will also be brought forward to allow ministers to impose tougher local lockdown restrictions including ‘stay-at-home’ orders.
Mr Johnson said: ‘From tomorrow, local authorities will have new powers in their areas. They will be able to close specific premises, shut public outdoor spaces and cancel events.
‘These powers will enable local authorities to act more quickly in response to outbreaks where speed is paramount.
‘Action by local councils will not always be sufficient, so next week we will publish draft regulations on how central government can intervene more effectively at a local level.
‘Where justified by the evidence, ministers will be able to close whole sectors or types of premises in an area, introduce local stay-at-home orders, prevent people entering or leaving defined areas, reduce the size of gatherings beyond the national defined rules or restrict transport systems serving local areas.’
The number of deaths being announced each day is higher than the reality, scientists say, because not all of them actually died of Covid-19 – some tested positive weeks or months ago and died of other causes but are still included in the list
Scientists say if a vaccine was developed it would need 60-70 per cent coverage to work — but this threshold could be significantly lower for natural immunity because the most at-risk people will always be the first to get exposed to the virus and, if it can’t infect them, it can’t spread through them to the less at-risk groups