THE Prime Minister's announcement this week that where the two-metre distance rule cannot be implemented, a new “one-metre plus” rule will be introduced, has opened the door to a return for many businesses.

Pubs, restaurants and barbers will be among others allowed to open when the new restrictions are implemented on Saturday, July 4.

Pubs and restaurants will have to implement table service only and make use of outdoor spaces, the Prime Minister encouraged. Businesses will also be asked to keep contact details of customers to help with contact tracing.

The changes in restrictions announced will also have an effect on those businesses who have already reopened. Retail businesses can now look at the possibility of increasing footfall and look to introduce less restrictive conditions within their stores.

Under the previous two-metre distancing rules, for many businesses it was not a financially viable option to reopen. Hospitality businesses would see businesses trading at approximately 30 per cent of capacity, compared with the one-metre distance, where businesses could operate at around 70 per cent.

That is why the announcement is so vital to the long-term sustainability of the local business economy. Under these new rules announced, businesses have been provided with the flexibility that was required in order to start their recovery process and get back to some form of consistency and normality.

There are however, many businesses who have already invested a large amount of time and money to adapting their businesses to the two-metre rule, and with changes announced this may now be redundant.

These businesses should not be forgotten by Government.

For further guidance and advice on the restart and recovery process including details on how to return to work safely, please visit our Coronavirus Business Support Hub at