Boris Johnson to reveal next steps for coronavirus lockdown on Tuesday

Boris Johnson will on Tuesday unveil his plan to reopen the hospitality sector from July 4, and announce the result of the review of the two-metre social-distancing rule.

The prime minister - along with top medical and scientific advisers, plus the culture secretary - will decide on Monday evening whether the safe distance should be reduced to one metre, in order to facilitate the reopening of the hospitality sector.

Despite Chancellor Rishi Sunak dropping a big hint that the rule would be reduced by saying Boris Johnson's review will make an "enormous difference", Number 10 said the it would not "preempt" the decision.

Oliver Dowden, chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance and chief medical officer for England Professor Chris Whitty will help Mr Johnson consider the review.

A No 10 spokesman said: “The Prime Minister has asked for a review to be conducted by the permanent secretary in No 10 and that review has of course considered a range of medical and economic advice.

“But, as I say, the committee will meet later on and will be free to discuss and consider whatever information they decide.”

Mr Johnson will then consult his Cabinet on Tuesday and outline the plans to Parliament for pubs, restaurants, hotels and hairdressers.

The Covid-19 alert levels. Credit: PA Graphics

Guidance will be published for each sector on how businesses can reduce the spread of Covid-19 when they reopen.

And the public are expected to be warned that the newest relaxation of rules will be the first to be reversed if there are widespread breaches that prompt the virus to spread uncontrollably.

A No 10 spokesman said: “The reason we are able to move forward this week is because the vast majority of people have taken steps to contain the virus.

“The more we open up, the more important it is that everyone follows the social-distancing rules.

“We will not hesitate to put the handbrake on to stop the virus running out of control.”

Credit: PA graphics

On Sunday, the PM said the progress made in the fight against coronavirus during three months of lockdown mean “it will be possible to open up more”.

“The disease is increasingly under control and I just want people to reflect on that important fact,” he added in a Downing Street interview.

With the two-metre rule placing severe constraints on the hospitality sector, it looks increasingly likely to be reduced as long as other mitigations – such as face coverings – can be used to help prevent a second wave of Covid-19 infections.

Meanwhile, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said England is “clearly on track” to further ease the lockdown.

Acknowledging that “a lot of the country does need a haircut”, Mr Hancock told Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday that he is “not going to rule out” hairdressers and barbers also being able to reopen on July 4.

He gave perspex screens, masks and altered seating arrangements as examples of measures to mitigate the risk of spreading coronavirus if the two-metre rule is relaxed.

And he floated the idea that punters at pubs and bars could have to sign a guest book with their names and contact details so they could be swiftly traced if they come into contact with an infection.