Cabinet to meet for first time since lockdown in March but face masks will not be compulsory

PUBLISHED: 15:23 20 July 2020 | UPDATED: 15:23 20 July 2020

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to The Discovery School in West Malling, Kent. Photograph: Jeremy Selwyn/Evening Standard/PA Wire

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to The Discovery School in West Malling, Kent. Photograph: Jeremy Selwyn/Evening Standard/PA Wire

Boris Johnson will meet with senior ministers in the first cabinet meeting in person since the coronavirus lockdown in March, where face masks will not be compulsory.

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In order to comply with coronavirus guidance to maintain a safe distance, the prime minister’s senior team will meet in the grand surroundings of the Foreign Office rather than the smaller cabinet room in No 10.

There will be hand sanitiser available at the entrance and exit to the room and a minimum one-metre distance will be maintained.

It will be the first time the Cabinet has met in the same room since March 17, shortly before the lockdown was imposed.

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The prime minister’s official spokesman said: “As we move forward with the coronavirus recovery and more people return to work in person, the PM felt that it was right for the Cabinet to come together and have a face-to-face meeting.”

The cabinet is reportedly set to use the Locarno Suite in the Foreign Office, usually used to host meetings with visiting dignitaries.

The prime minister’s official spokesman said: “It’s a large room that has been chosen in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and it will be properly ventilated.

“In terms of the steps which are being taken, there will be a ready supply of hand sanitiser and members of the Cabinet will have individual water jugs and glasses and they will be socially distanced, that will be to a minimum of one metre.”

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