Hospitality and entertainment businesses will be allowed to reopen fully for the first time since the pandemic started in Government plans seen by The Times. However, some preventive measures such as mask wearing in certain settings will remain in place.
The one metre-plus rule is set to be scrapped, enabling businesses to welcome more customers into their facilities.
Larger events will potentially keep the audience limits beyond June 21, with reports of the Government advising the Union of European Football Associations (Uefa) the audience cap will be set at 45,000.
Pilot events have been carried out in various settings in a bid to test the possibility of scrapping social distancing rules.
The tests included a nightclub party in Liverpool, a business conference with 400 people and football matches at Wembley.
A government insider told The Times: “The evidence we’ve got so far from the pilots is very positive and the general background on data is hugely encouraging in terms of numbers, falling deaths and hospitalisations.
“The pilots have shown us that mitigations have worked sufficiently to allow us to remove social distancing at least in the settings that we really need to in order to get them in a viable position again.
“The kind of thing we’re looking at is keeping in place mask wearing, extra ventilation, staggered entry — all of that has been shown to have worked so far.”
The report comes ahead of the Government’s next phase of its roadmap out of lockdown, which will allow people to hug again.
From May 17, people will also be allowed to meet in groups of six indoors and 30 outdoors.
However, health officials are urging people to avoid coming into close contact with strangers.
People are also urged to continue abiding by the social distancing guidelines when travelling on public transport or at work.
A Government source told The Times: “The data is looking very good.
“The scientists say we’re on track for the next stage, unless something changes dramatically.”