Following the British government’s policy of easing restrictions in a phased manner, pubs, bars, restaurants, hairdressers and cinemas in England reopened on Thursday on the condition that social distancing guidelines are followed. Museums, art galleries, libraries, community centers, outdoor fitness centers and children's playgrounds are also open.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that easing England's lockdown was "the biggest step on the road to recovery." British Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak welcomed the reopening of the businesses as good news. Nearly half a million people work in pubs and bars, and will “help all of us enjoy the summer safely,” he said.
While some people rush to pubs and queued up at hairdressers, some businesses are wary of reopening. About 31 percent of pubs, bars and restaurants did not reopen on the day due to fears about COIVD-19, according to the Night Industry Association.
Despite further easing of the lockdown in England, the central city of Leicester remains under lockdown following a recent surge in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases.