UK coronavirus live: Boris Johnson eases social distancing rule in England; death toll rises by 171

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No 10 scraps daily press conference after today; 2m rule stays in Scotland and Wales; English pubs, restaurants, hairdressers to open from 4 July

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4.29pm BST

From HuffPost’s Paul Waugh

Away from the PM's big unlockdown announcements today, here's something the govt slipped out in the Lords...

@MattHancock's abandoned test and trace app has cost the taxpayer nearly £12m

4.21pm BST

Here is some business reaction to the PM’s announcement about the lockdown being eased in England.

From the CBI director general Dame Carolyn Fairbairn

The long and nervous wait for hoteliers, landlords and restaurateurs is now nearing an end. It will also be a joy that our cultural centres can slowly return to life.

Easing social distancing rules will make a material difference to the viability of thousands of firms. The move will also have a significant impact across sectors employing millions of people.

Reducing the 2m rule will undoubtedly bring relief to many businesses.

A quarter of our members have said that under current social distancing rules they are likely to operate at less than half capacity. For many, this simply isn’t sustainable, particularly with the furlough scheme set to wind down.

These steps will enable more companies to reopen and will be cautiously welcomed in our business communities.

While the relaxation of the two-metre rule will help more firms increase capacity, we are still a long way from business as usual. Broader efforts to boost business and consumer confidence will still be needed to help firms trade their way out of this crisis.

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