LONDON (AP) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to work out plans to reopen bars, restaurants and museums on Tuesday – the latest easing of closure measures to fight the corona virus pandemic.
The new proposals, which come into effect on July 4, will come under great pressure to reduce the government requirement that people inside must be 2 meters (6 1/2 feet) apart. British hospitality companies have argued that 1 meter (3 feet) from each other is enough to control the spread of the virus. Many British pubs operate in tight spaces and are already struggling to survive.
The social distance requirement is also a concern for teachers who want to safely open UK schools next fall.
The Conservative government is desperate to reboot the stalled British economy and that desire is likely to be reflected in the guidance to reopen businesses ranging from hotels to hairdressers.
But scientists are concerned that the government is reopening the economy too soon and that a track-and-trace system designed to eradicate outbreaks quickly is not fully functioning.
Britain has the highest death toll in Europe from the virus, with more than 42,700 killed. That’s also the third highest death toll in the world, after the United States and Brazil, both of which have a much larger population.
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