BOSSES at some of York’s biggest attractions have reacted to the news that the two-metre social distancing rule can now be relaxed and replaced with a “one metre plus” rule from July 4.

Sarah Maltby, director of attractions at York Archaeological Trust, which runs five city centre attractions in York including Jorvik and Barley Hall, said: “The two metre restriction is now firmly in many people’s heads as a ‘safe’ distance.

“Reducing this to one metre might help increase capacity in certain venues, but the new mindset is not going to change overnight, and many people will still be wary of others getting too close. Making people feel comfortable out and about is a crucial part of re-opening.

“We’ve been working on our re-opening plans for weeks, and for our attractions, we are confident that two metres will ensure a relaxed and pleasant visitor experience.

“We’ll review this regularly as visitor confidence returns.”

In a joint statement from museum directors at national galleries and museums encompassing The Tate, The Science Museum Group - which includes York’s NRM, The Natural History Museum, the National Gallery, the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum, the directors said: “We welcome the Prime Minister’s announcement to allow the safe reopening of our galleries to the public this summer. We will now work closely with government, trade unions and supporters to see how and when we can open our doors again in a financially sustainable manner, for the long term.

“The British public have faced a wretched few months of isolation, loss, and anxiety in confronting the COVID-19 pandemic. The reopening of museums – whose galleries speak to the creative, resilient power of the human spirit – will provide solace and inspiration as Britain looks to the future.

“Museums live through the conversation between object and visitor. Our collections are held in trust not to be hidden away, but to be discussed, challenged, and loved: a role of particular significance as we reflect on current debates around crucial issues including racial equality, social justice, and climate change.”