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Iran Press TV

UK set to effectively end lockdown next month

Iran Press TV

Saturday, 20 June 2020 6:02 PM

After nearly three months of various degrees of lockdown the UK appears set to end it altogether as of early next month.

According to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, ministers will announce in the coming week whether the 2 meter social distancing rule in England will be relaxed.

Speaking on a visit to shops in North Yorkshire, the Chancellor said the outcome of the review will "make an enormous difference to businesses "keen to see a change".

Sunak's announcement comes on the heels of the government's stated plan to re-open the hospitality sector as of early next month, possibly as early as July 04.

The re-opening of pubs, restaurants and hotels – coupled with the lowering or even abolition of the social distancing rule – will effectively spell the end of the UK lockdown.

It appears that the Chancellor's announcement is in part a reaction to growing pressure from British business leaders – particularly in the hospitality sector – to decrease the 2 meter social distancing rule.

Addressing business leaders' concerns, the Chancellor said he is "very understanding of the calls for action on that, particularly for our hospitality industry, for our pubs, for our restaurants".

The effective ending of the lockdown is bound to raise concerns amongst the scientific community in addition to broad swathes of the public.

Late last month the government's own scientists appeared to oppose lockdown relaxation on the grounds that it was a "political decision".

Furthermore, the effective end of the lockdown in England will exacerbate differences with other UK nations, especially with Scotland.

Scotland's First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has been consistently critical of the British government's management of the coronavirus crisis, particularly over what she has described as the premature relaxation of the lockdown.

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